Executives at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s head office were in a panic at the onset of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, video footage showing Tepco’s response shows.
The footage of a teleconference linking Tepco headquarters and the plant, crippled by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, highlights how senior officials from the utility’s nuclear division were in a state of confusion and failed to provide enough advice and assistance to workers at the plant.
Masao Yoshida, then chief of the plant, is seen asking senior officials for help on the morning of March 13, 2011, saying, “I want to cope but cannot come up with the answers” after the spent-fuel storage pool of reactor 1 was left exposed in an explosion that destroyed the top of the building housing the reactor.
However, Tepco Managing Executive Officer Akio Komori, onetime chief of the plant and vice head of the utility’s Nuclear Power & Plant Siting Division when the crisis started, is unable to offer advice to Yoshida, saying “I cannot come up with feasible countermeasures quickly.”