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Fukushima powerplant owner forced to cough teleconference vids

Claims missing audio due to 'full hard drive'

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Japan’s troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co, Tepco, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, will be forced to release hundreds of hours of in-house teleconference video footage revealing executive briefings to staff during the unfolding events of the nuclear disaster.

The footage will include Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Naoto Kan, challenging Tepco officials at its headquarters in a broadcast that was viewed by over 200 staff during the early stages of the disaster. Tepco has claimed however that this crucial part of the footage does not have audio. In one of the lamest grab-the-nearest-excuses exercises in history, company officials blame a “full hard drive” for the technical fault.

In an exclusive interview with ABC news, former PM Kan claims that the company is “trying to hide something inconvenient.”

He has made a public call for the release of all the footage as the investigation into the disaster continues. Kan said that the footage “is like the black box flight recorder on an airplane, these recordings are crucial to finding out what really happened,” he said.

The footage shows an angry Kan lashing out at Tepco officials over what he believed was a request by the utility to pull out all personnel from the stricken plant in March last year, a senior Tepco official said.

Tepco has been extremely reluctant to release the footage, citing privacy concerns, but is now bowing to government pressure.

Earlier in the month a damning report from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (at http://naiic.go.jp/en/) claimed that the "the direct causes of the accident were all foreseeable prior to March 11, 2011."

It added that the operator of the plant Tepco, regulators and the government "failed to correctly develop the most basic safety requirements” this includes assessing the probability of damage, preparing for containing collateral damage from such a disaster, and developing evacuation plans.

The report offered recommendations and actively encouraged the nation's parliament to "thoroughly debate and deliberate" the suggestions. ®

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