Nuclear safety chief questioned over Fukushima: Report
TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese police have questioned a former head of the nuclear safety body regarding possible criminal charges over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, news reports said Sunday.
Prosecutors have interviewed Haruki Madarame, former chief of the Nuclear Safety Commission who was responsible for giving the government technical advice about the crisis, national broadcaster NHK quoted sources as saying.
It said Madarame appeared voluntarily for questioning and was apparently asked to explain how he dealt with the disaster triggered by the March 2011 tsunami.
Fukushima residents have filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors against Madarame on suspicion of professional negligence which resulted in deaths and injuries, the public broadcaster said.
The complaint alleges that Madarame was responsible for a delay in announcing data predicting how radiation would spread from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, it said.
It also reportedly faults him for failing to take necessary measures to shield the plant against the tsunami in the first place.
When he resigned in September, Madarame hinted that his commission had failed in its responsibility to avert the nuclear disaster, saying: “We have to sincerely reflect on it. We apologise to people.”
Madarame, who became the body’s chief in 2010, accompanied then prime minister Naoto Kan as they monitored the plant from a helicopter days after the tsunami struck the plant.