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» Niigata gov.criticized TEPCO new business plan

Niigata Govenor. Hirohiko Izumida criticized TEPCO’s new business turnaround plan, saying it does not signal any improvement in the utility’s attitude toward nuclear safety.

The plan, approved by the government on Jan 15th, showed how TEPCO seeks to put its business back on track, such as by restarting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture from July.

Despite his critical stance, Izumida met with TEPCO President Naomi Hirose on Jan. 16 to hear how the company plans to rebound from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

“Shareholders and banks have not taken responsibility (for the accident), and it is a ridiculous plan from a safety standpoint,” Izumida said at the meeting.

The governor has never hidden his distrust of the utility. He strongly objected when TEPCO announced plans in July 2013 to submit an application to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for checks to determine if the No. 6 and 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant complied with the government’s new safety standards.

Izumida was incensed because the utility failed to notify the Niigata prefectural government beforehand that it was planning to submit the application, part of the process toward resuming operations at the two reactors.

Although the governor did conditionally approve the filing of the application in September, he has long insisted that he would only consent to the resumption of reactor operations after the investigation and review of the Fukushima nuclear accident are completed.

Izumida has been especially critical of the fact that TEPCO has yet to clearly explain why it took nearly two months after the onset of the nuclear disaster to admit that meltdowns had occurred at the Fukushima plant.
<Media Report>
Niigata governor calls TEPCO’s turnaround plan a ‘pie in the sky'(Asahi Newspaper)

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