General Electric Co., the Boston-based conglomerate, is facing a federal lawsuit over its role in the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.
The class-action lawsuit against GE was filed Friday in federal court in Boston by a group that includes residents, medical clinics and companies operating in the area affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the largest disaster of its kind in the world.
“GE designed and largely constructed the the entire failed Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant at the center of the dispute,” the lawsuit claims, “and for many years, directly or indirectly through its affiliates, was responsible for the maintenance of the (plant). To this day, GE has paid literally nothing toward the massive economic and business destruction its actions and failings have caused.”
The lawsuit states the seeds of the Fukushima disaster were planted in the 1960s when GE made a “risky bet to dominate the commercial nuclear power industry. In so doing, GE misrepresented the safety of its nuclear reactor, the lawsuit claims “so it could generate sales and earn profits surrounding the possibilities of nuclear power.”
The plaintiffs in the case say they are representing 150,000 Japanese citizens and hundreds of businesses.
The nuclear disaster, triggered by a major earthquake and a deadly tsunami, caused an estimated $200 billion in cleanup costs, the lawsuit states.
ABC reported in 2011 that three GE scientists had quit 35 years before because they believed that the design of the reactor was so flawed that it could lead to an accident.
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