Nuclear operator to release secret Fukushima tapes

Former Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan, who was in office throughout the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns, has told the ABC he believes the plant’s operator has been hiding important evidence.

For months TEPCO has resisted pressure to release crucial recordings, arguing they are in-house material and to release them would compromise the privacy of these on the tapes.

The organization now says it will bow to months of pressure from Mr Kan and the government and release the many hours of teleconference video taken in the days after last year’s meltdowns.

But it has confirmed crucial audio of a heated exchange with Mr Kan is missing, claiming its difficult drive was full.

The recordings are a window into the decisions, dramas and dangers at the heart of the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and Mr Kan says the withheld info is “crucial”.

“This is particularly essential material which is required to investigate the trigger of this accident,” Mr Kan told the ABC in an exclusive interview.

“It’s like the black box flight recorder on an aeroplane. The black box is essential to understanding how an accident occurred. So also are these recordings.”

Lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai has been fighting for the release of the TEPCO tapes. He believes they will aid solve some abiding mysteries at the heart of the disaster.

It really is like the black box flight recorder on an aeroplane. The black box is essential to understanding how an accident happened. So too are these recordings.

“The audio and video will make it clear what discussions TEPCO was having about withdrawing.”


Sources and more information:

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