Japan Today

TEPCO chief asks Niigata governor to OK reactor safety screening


Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) President Naomi Hirose on Wednesday visited Niigata Prefectural Gov Hirohiko Izumida to ask for approval to apply for mandatory safety screening of the Nos. 6 and 7 reactors at its Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant.

TEPCO is seeking to restart the two reactors as its operating costs are spiraling due to its reliance on thermal power with all of its reactors offline.

Hirose and Izumida last met in July, at which time the governor rebuffed Hirose's request. Izumida has been an outspoken critic of TEPCO and last month called for the utility to be liquidated because its failure to learn from mistakes fuels insecurity.

At Wednesday's meeting, Izumida criticized TEPCO for making modifications to the Kashiwazaki Kariwa without first seeking the prefectural government's approval. TEPCO has been installing filter vents to release steam from reactor containment vessels.

Izumida asked Hirose which is more important to the company - money or people' safety, NHK reported. Hirose replied that safety was paramount. Izumida said that all of Japan is waiting to see how TEPCO translates those words into action.

Izumida, a former senior official in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that oversees the energy sector, said he believes TEPCO's focus on getting the plant's reactors started to save fuel costs have so far overlooked safety concerns.

© Japan Today/Thomson Reuters

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Izumida for prime minister - he sounds like he has both brains and a heart!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Well done! Still too few in authority taking TEPCO to task!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Yeah, but they are still asking! It just takes the right, or the wrong, person in charge, depending on how you're looking at it, and it's switch-on time. It's like no-one's paying any attention to the real issue here - yesterday the fishing starts up again, now 2 NPPs are pushing for start-up. It's surreal!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Safety" only when the press is looking.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Wow this guy is great, finally someone telling Tepco to go shove it! This guy needs to be PM!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Tepco had NO shame! This bozo Naomi Hirose has NO shame! Good on Niigata for not allowing these greedy bastards from Tepco to continue with their shananagins!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Based on precedent we might imagine something like this:

Niigata governor at press conference: "We are resolutely opposed to the restarting of the nuclear facility. We will never consider it as long as it remains a risk to the people of Japan"

(During post-conference coffee break, governor receives telephone call from Minister for Energy)

Minister: "We believe it is in the best interests of the people of Japan to restart the facility as soon as possible. PM Abe would also like to invite you to his residence at your earliest convenience to discuss next year's central government budget proposals for Niigata Prefecture"

Niigata governor: "HAI ! HAI! WAKARIMASHITA! as soon as possible!"

(Group yawn initiated)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow! A Japanese politician with logic and reasoning skills? Wonders will never cease! As for that TEPCO clown. If safety is more important than money why are you using cheap ass fixes in Fukushima? Put your money where your mouth is!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

TEPCO just really doesn't get it, do they? I'm happy to hear that Izumida gave it to him straight. DO NOT let these guys try to keep the reactors.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

why does he have to ask the governor to give him a pass? it either passes or it doesn't....and it probably doesn't which is why he need to ask...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But why do these TEPCO guys go to a whole educated and exposed Governor, just to ASK to restart nuke plants as if they are visiting a shrine or ancenstrial spirits? If TEPCO says it puts security above profits then it should show that on paper to the Governor! I mean TEPCO can go to the Governor with written short and long term strategy/plan to ensure security, specifying what exactly the security measures put into place, which, if in agreement to the Governor (in consultation with the prefecture citizens), is signed by both parties and made public. If anything happens, then TEPCO will be held accountable. If this ceremonial ASKING Governors to restart does not stop, and replaced by real business approaches with sustainability, waste disposal, compensation, and accountability issues incorporated into the nuke business strategies, I swear we are only witnessing the beginning of dangerous nuke accidents in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Didn't the PM already order the remaining reactors scrapped? These guys trying to side-step Abe or something -- the guy 51% in control of their company?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Profit before people -never mind that nuclear contamination is spreading all over the world from Fukushima.

Turn on another one,light the fuse and stand back!

Good advice but there isn't a place far away enough to stand!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

cool. Way to go Izumida! Stop TEPCO

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You cannot stop TEPCO. Suck it up. That's something you guys need to learn when you live in Japan. You need to go along with corruptions.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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