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Japanese farmer warned nuclear operator of risks in 2004 via Dalje.com

A Japanese farmer urged Fukushima power plant executives to implement anti-tsunami measures to mitigate the threat of a major crisis, years before the 2011 catastrophe occurred.
A Japanese farmer urged Fukushima power plant executives to implement anti-tsunami measures to mitigate the threat of a major crisis, years before the 2011 catastrophe occurred.
Iwaki, Japan (dpa) – Masumi Kowata, a diminutive farmer in rural Fukushima, recalled urging a top executive of Tokyo Electric Power Co to implement anti-tsunami measures at its nuclear facilities years before the 2011 disaster.
“Your company has not taken any measures against tsunamis. Please do so properly,” she recalled saying to Tsunehisa Katsumata, who was then-president of Tokyo Electric, the operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.
The company selected Kowata and 10 other local residents to be a “monitoring group,” as part of its public relations activities. The group met with Katsumata and other company executives in 2004.
Unlike most Japanese, Kowata is outspoken.
She requested that the operator relocate backup emergency diesel generators from the basement of the complex’s turbine buildings to higher ground.
Local power plant workers in the close-knit community had told her about the facility’s potential vulnerabilities.
Katsumata replied that relocation would be costly, she recalled.
“Then I asked Mr Katsumata: ‘What if the plant went into meltdown?’ He got very angry and said, ‘No way that would happen,’” she said.
[…]
n January, the prosecutors’ office decided not to indict Katsumata and two other former Tokyo Electric executives for negligence in failing to prevent the disaster, citing a lack of evidence.
The move followed an initial decision in September 2013.
A subsequent investigation was conducted after a special prosecution inquest panel decided to seek indictment.
Kowata said she was not consulted about the second investigation. She has spoken out publicly, but prosecutors have “not come to interview me, and media have not published my episode.”

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