Anniversaries are reminding the      maxime      to learn from history. As every classical research for a newspaper article has been starting in thorough research in papers´ archives. Thus is the occasion to quote from an article published in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in September 2002. Defects in the containment of the nuclear power plant of Fukushima were detected but covered up over a long period of time. The news had let to the resign of the head of Tepco (tokyo electric power company) Nobuya Minami and four further managers. This didn´t change anything as we know from recent history.

Time to ask questions.

–         about the role of German nuclear industry

–         the company Siemens

–         which influence did it have on German media, politicians

–         and why did it have to take a catastrophe as Fukushima in order to fundamentally strengthen the anti-nuclear conviction?

photos by Susanne Haerpfer in Kyoto

 In 2008 Bloomberg reported that

“European Union regulators accused Siemens AG, ABB Ltd., Areva SA, Toshiba Corp. and other transmission-gear makers of possible price fixing in the market for electric-power transformers.”

The wire service

Wrote

“Power transformers are key components in electricity transmission, reducing or increasing the voltage in an electrical circuit.”

They are used – among others – as well in air planes

as in [nuclear] power plants.

Any faults in these components might lead to fatal cascade effects.

Compromised components

Would have cost less in the short run

But imply gigantic risks and costs.

On July 6 th German media published first news bytes on the first reports on the investigations on the crash of the plane run by Air France

And on the catastrophe of Fukushima.

In case sophisticated energy and/or transport systems are struck, one can only pray.

Susanne Haerpfer is free lance journalist for television, newspapers, magazine (text & foto) online media and research. The rights for further publication can be bought from me, based on mutual signed agreement Susanne.Haerpfer@bits.de