TEPCO Apologizes to Niigata Governor over N-Plant Security Flaws

Economy

Niigata, March 25 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> President Tomoaki Kobayakawa on Thursday offered an apology to Hideyo Hanazumi, governor of Niigata Prefecture, over a series of security flaws at the firm's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in the central Japan prefecture.

"I sincerely apologize for causing great concern," Kobayakawa told Hanazumi in their meeting at the prefectural government office in the city of Niigata, the prefecture's capital. "We will make all-out efforts to identify the causes (of the flaws) and advance drastic reforms," he said.

Hanazumi criticized TEPCO, saying that the problems, including insufficient measures to protect the facility against possible terror attacks, "seriously damaged Niigata residents' trust" in the company.

It now seems very difficult for the company to win consent from local communities to the restart of a reactor at the power station, located between the city of Kashiwazaki and the village of Kariwa, as TEPCO's sloppy management of the nuclear plant has drawn strong criticism from people in the prefecture.

"The current situation makes us question" the qualification of the company as a nuclear power plant operator, the governor said. "Having heard your words (of apology and pledge), I now want you to put what you said into action and achieve results," he added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press