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TEPCO's apologises for the umpteenth time

June 28, 2016

TEPCO chief apologizes to shareholders for cover-up



The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company has apologized to shareholders for concealing reactor meltdowns at its Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011.

The utility did not officially admit to the meltdowns until more than 2 months after the accident, which was caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

The firm's investigative panel revealed earlier this month that the then-president had instructed officials not to use the words "core meltdown."

Incumbent president Naomi Hirose on Tuesday spoke before about 1,200 people at the annual shareholders meeting in Tokyo.

He said he takes the results of the investigative panel seriously and thorough measures will be taken to prevent recurrences. They include performing drills to improve the effectiveness of emergency notification, and strengthening information-sharing.

Shareholders submitted 10 proposals to be taken up at the meeting. They include an early restart of offline nuclear reactors to lower electricity bills, and the abolition of the nuclear power business out of concerns of accidents.

A shareholder said that since the firm's nuclear reactors are undergoing safety screenings by the regulator, it would be safe to switch them back on.

Another said the firm's attitude regarding compensation toward Fukushima and the restart of nuclear reactors are showing no signs of improvement.

Press Release (Jun 21,2016)




Responding to recent report of an investigating committee, TEPCO restates its commitment to provide comprehensive, accurate and understandable information, while making safety the utmost priority to ensure a safe and secure society

TOKYO, June 21, 2016 In its first response to the June 16 report of the committee investigating the belated acknowledgment that a meltdown had taken place at Fukushima Daiichi NPS in March 2011, TEPCO said it is clear from the report that its previous leadership gave instructions not to use the word "meltdown" in public statements.

"We deeply regret that our previous leadership failed to live up to the standards of transparency and thoroughness that we strive to meet today," said TEPCO President Naomi Hirose (who was not the company's leader at the time of the accident). "We sincerely apologize for it," he said.

In more recent years, through the creation of the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee and many other changes, TEPCO has worked to improve the timeliness, thoroughness, and clarity of its communication with the public, both inside Japan and internationally. President Hirose stressed that TEPCO has been learning this lesson and breaking from its past, as it works to build trust with the public and with government through the implantation of its Nuclear Safety Reform Plan. Improvements in communication represent an important element of that Plan, which is overseen both by the company's Nuclear Safety Oversight Office and by an independent Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee chaired by the former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"We deeply regret the shortcomings of the past," President Hirose said, "but it is important to recognize that they do not represent the TEPCO of today while making safety the utmost priority to ensure a safe and secure society."


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