Top > Releases ･ Announcements > Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report > 2014 > Recent topics:TEPCO PRESIDENT HIROSE SAYS FUKUSHIMA 3rd ANNIVERSARY WILL BE TIME OF ‘REDEDICATION' BOTH TO VICTIMS AND TO THE FUTURE
TOKYO - Anticipating next month's third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident with the keynote speech before a major conference, TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said the occasion "is a time to rededicate ourselves to the challenges that lie ahead."
At the Second Asian Nuclear Power Briefing chaired by Lady Barbara Judge CBE (former Chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Deputy Chairman of TEPCO's Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee), Hirose observed that the third anniversary marks an appropriate time to both honor the past and to focus on the future. He outlined the vision for TEPCO's future that was recently announced in a three-way agreement that includes Japan's government and the financial community. That plan, while providing for victim compensation and other aspects of Fukushima cleanup, also lays out a pathway to long-term financial independence for the company.
New Business Plan
The new plan, Hirose said, "will put TEPCO on the road to long-term viability and decreased dependence on taxpayer support, while ensuring prompt fair compensation for those who have suffered losses and adequate resources for the remediation at Fukushima." Total compensation for victims will increase by about 1 trillion yen over the previous plan, to a total of 4.9 trillion yen.
Moreover, Hirose, said, "Our concern for the victims of the accident goes beyond compensation. To those who were displaced, we will intensify efforts to enable the earliest possible return home." Those efforts also include investment in Fukushima's economic revitalization.
The company will cut costs, in part by streamlining management. But it will also seek growth by expanding its electric supply business beyond its current service area, and by supplying natural gas to existing electricity customers. The goal, Hirose said, is to pave the way for a reduced dependence on the government and an eventual return to private capital markets.
Fukushima, KK and the Future of Nuclear Power
An important element of rededication to the future, Hirose said, is intense focus on both remediation at Fukushima Daiichi and the resumption of production at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, the world's largest nuclear power facility.
At Fukushima, he said, important progress is being made in controlling the complex challenges associated with the contamination of groundwater by the nuclear debris from the three destroyed reactors. In the longer term, he said, "we have set an ambitious goal to remove the fuel debris from at least one of the reactors by the first half of fiscal year 2020. It will not be easy. The technology for safely doing so is not yet in place, and there can be no shortcuts."
And he praised Fukushima workers for the safe and successful efforts to remove fuel from Unit 4, a process that will continue for much of this year: "as I meet with the members on the team there I can see and feel the renewed pride that this success has generated." Nevertheless, he said, "we will not become complacent."
This reflects the strengthened safety culture that has been adopted, in part as the result of recommendations from the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee, an advisory board of international experts. "We are deeply appreciative" of the international help TEPCO continues to receive, Hirose said.
Hirose touched on the recent decision to create a new entity dedicated to the Fukushima decontamination and decommissioning, likely to be called Fukushima D&D Engineering. The new entity will report directly to the TEPCO president and "will focus energy, expertise, and accountability on Fukushima Daiichi, while building an international platform with which to share our growing expertise in this area with the world."
He also emphasized the importance of restarting the KK facility: "It will be a milestone toward achieving our goals, especially the goal to revitalize Fukushima" he said. Moreover, "With a deep respect for those who have suffered and an awareness of our special responsibility, we are truly rededicating ourselves to nuclear safety and to the realization of that better future for everyone."
You may find the video of Mr. Hirose's speech at the conference at http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/library/movie-01e.html?bcpid=59368209002&bclid=741904652002&bctid=752277605002
Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) supplies energy to the greater Kanto area, including Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Established in 1951, TEPCO is Japan's largest power company with over 35,000 employees, 269,000 GWh in electricity sales, and annual revenues of approximately 5.3 billion yen. The company provides energy to roughly 1/3rd of Japan via a network of 197 power stations. It is committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 28.8 million customers, diversifying energy resources to ensure sustainability, and procuring new technologically advanced supplies that are both economically and environmentally sound. TEPCO has reduced power outages to 0.07 per year, with an average duration of 5 minutes - among the lowest figures in the developed world. Headquartered in Tokyo, TEPCO has international outreach offices in London and Washington, DC. To learn more, please visit us on the Web at http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html or find us at our official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTEPCOen.