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Former TEPCO Bosses on Trial for Fukushima Nuclear Disaster 东京电力公司前高管因福岛核事故受审

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A Japanese court has begun a trial of three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury. All three have pleaded not guilty in connection with the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, saying they could not have predicted the enormous tsunami that flooded the plant.

'I apologize for the tremendous trouble to the residents in the area and around the country because of the serious accident that caused the release of radioactive materials,' said Tsunehisa Katsumata, former chairmen of TEPCO. He added, however, 'I believe I don't have a criminal responsibility in the case.'

If convicted, Katsumata and former vice presidents Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $9,000.

The charges against the executives are linked to the deaths of 40 hospital patients who were evacuated from the Fukushima area and later died.

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami killed 20,000 people in northeastern Japan. Not only did the disaster trigger the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima power plant, it also reignited debate about the risks of nuclear energy.

Communities around the plant and even those that were hundreds of kilometers away, were evacuated. Some areas remain uninhabitable.

日本一家法院开庭审理负责福岛核电站的东京电力公司三位前主管的案件,他们的罪名是业务过失致人死伤。三名被告都称,在2011福岛核事故中无罪,说自己无法预见巨大的海啸会淹没核电站。

东京电力公司前董事长胜俣恒久说:“我为严重事故造成放射性物质泄漏,给当地和全国人民带来的困扰表示道歉。”他补充说,不过,“我认为,我在这起事故中不承担刑事责任”。

如果被判定罪名成立的话,前董事长胜俣恒久、前副社长武黑一郎,以及武藤荣将面临最长五年监禁,最多9千美元罚款。

这些高管受到的指控跟40名从福岛地区被疏散,住院医治,后来死去的病患相关。

2011年日本东北部发生的地震和海啸造成两万人丧生。这起灾难不仅导致福岛核电站三个核反应堆的融化,同时也引发了有关核能源风险的辩论。

福岛核电站附近,甚至是几百公里以外的社区都进行了疏散,一些地区至今不能住人。

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