Top > Releases ・ Announcements > Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report > 2014 > Recent topics:FORMER U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATOR PRAISES TEPCO PROGRESS, NOTES COMMITMENT OF JAPANESE PEOPLE TO SUCCEED

Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report 2014


TOKYO, March 11, 2014 -TEPCO and the people of Japan have made great progress in the three years since the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and their commitment to eventual success provides the basis for optimism, according to former U.S. nuclear regulator Dr. Dale Klein.

Klein is the former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and currently chairs a group of international experts advising the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on nuclear reform. His speech at the Foreign Press Center Japan marked the third anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that led to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

Noting his many visits to Japan since becoming chairman of that group, Klein said: "From the most senior executive to individual workers, one cannot but be impressed by their commitment not only to recovery but also to building a better, safer future."

Klein noted that Americans and others outside Japan are watching events closely, and eager to provide support. The world, he said, "wants you to succeed because people understand that if we are to successfully manage climate change and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, nuclear power will be an important part of the mix. But they also know that public confidence in that nuclear power can be enhanced, or diminished, by what happens here."

Progress at Fukushima

Contrasting the immediate aftermath of the accident with the situation at Fukushima today, Klein said the anniversary was an appropriate time to note the progress that has been made and to appreciate the hard work that made it possible. In particular, he noted the safe removal of nuclear fuel from Unit 4 as a milestone. He also praised the many improvements that have been made to strengthen the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant which TEPCO has applied for the regulatory standard compliance examination.

But he also cautioned against excessive expectations, noting that the road to ultimate removal of nuclear material from Fukushima will be long, and that while he is optimistic about the eventual outcome, there will inevitably be setbacks and disappointments along the way.

Key to the long term, he emphasized, will be TEPCO's continued efforts to infuse the entire organization with a "safety culture." TEPCO must continue to develop people "who are prepared for the unexpected and empowered to deal with it. Yes, technology will be important but never as important as well trained people. But for every valve, every pump, and every switch, there have to be people who understand what each one means to plant safety and operation. In the end, it is the people who will make the difference."

The full text of today's speech may be found at

The photos of Dr. Klein's visit to Fukushima Daiichi NPS may be found at

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) is Japan's largest power company, supplying energy to the greater Kanto area, including Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Its 35,000 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 28.8 million customers, diversifying energy resources to ensure sustainability, and contributing to economic growth while fully meeting its responsibilities after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

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