New photos released of tsunami hitting nuke plant
TEPCO posts $15 billion loss, president resigns
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has released new photos of the tsunami hitting the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 11, while the company posted a $15 billion loss prompting its president to resign.
Separately, a nuclear expert has slammed comparisons between the Japan nuclear disaster and Chernobyl.
The photos, released Thursday and available on the TEPCO website, show the tsunami that crippled the nuclear plant barreling toward the facility before inundating it with water.
On Wednesday, TEPCO released a silent 13-minute video walking tour of the damaged plant, which can be seen on YouTube (left), showing workers in radiation suits walking amid gutted buildings.
The annual net loss of $15 billion posted by TEPCO is the biggest ever for a non-financial Japanese firm, AFP reports.
The utility did not give an earnings forecast for the current financial year, but indicated that compensation liabilities estimated at tens of billions of dollars could end up sinking it. TEPCO warned that the "significant deterioration" in its financial position raised "substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern," AFP reports.
Company president Masataka Shimizu resigned Friday, along with Sakae Muto, head of TEPCO's nuclear division.
"The public has lost confidence in nuclear power," Shimizu told a press conference. "It is the right way for the top manager to take the ultimate responsibility."
Meanwhile, comparisons between the Fukushima crisis and the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe in Ukraine came under fire Wednesday, with Robert Wakeford of the University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute calling the likenesses overblown.
Wakeford, writing in the June issue of the Journal of Radiological Protection, referred to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, designed to let people know the severity of a nuclear event, CNN reports.
The INES designates both Chernobyl and Fukushima as Level 7, or major, accidents. However, Fukushima had released only 10 percent of the radioactivity leaked at the Chernobyl plant.
"Since Level 7 is the highest rating on INES, there can be no distinction between the Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents, leading many to proclaim the Fukushima accident as 'another Chernobyl,' which it is not," Wakeford wrote.
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.