The plant's operator—Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco—considered using seawater from the nearby coast to cool one of its six reactors at least as early as last Saturday morning, the day after the quake struck. But it didn't do so until that evening, after the prime minister ordered it following an explosion at the facility. Tepco didn't begin using seawater at other reactors until Sunday.
Tepco was reluctant to use seawater because it worried about hurting its long-term investment in the complex, say people involved with the efforts. Seawater, which can render a nuclear reactor permanently inoperable, now is at the center of efforts to keep the plant under control.
Tepco "hesitated because it tried to protect its assets," said Akira Omoto, a former Tepco executive and a member of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission.
A little uranium twinkling in every lung.
All because of a company's negligence, even leaving aside how we don't learn the lesson of not doing things we don't know how to fix when they go wrong. Things that, when they go wrong, go wrong all the way. Because of money. Because of profit.
The profit of the corporations, the legal fictions we have given the powers of God and the legal standing of human beings. But none of the same liability.
Indeed, the whole purpose of corporations is evasion of individual liability. But it seems you cannot have your cake and eat it too.
That has started to break down of late, with the Supreme Court's surprisingly intelligent decision(dissented by Thomas and Scalia, of course) against AT & T, declaring that the corporation did not have the same right to privacy as an individual does. There's a next logical step, though.
Because corporations murder. They destroy lives, property, and resources. Before this, there was BP and the Gulf. Oil companies, for decades. Union Carbide in Bhopal. R.J. Reynolds and others. All engaged in irresponsible behavior that cost the lives of millions. That's not even including corporations such as ITT, DeBeers, or United Fruit that actively killed people and overthrew nations and governments.
Some have paid fines. Occasionally executives have gone to jail. But mostly, the corporations remain and find new ways to commit the same crimes. And they usually don't really have to fix what they destroyed, or pay for it.
The paying is usually left to the victims.
Why should they have all the advantages of an individual with none of the responsibilities to the human race?
Bad enough we can never hold God to account. But to actually create and tolerate such a malign force within our own world, created by our own laws, which protect it as it murders us?
It seems to me that in some way, should a corporation commit murder and mass destruction, it should be imprisoned, even executed, as any individual might, as well.