Tepco sets up decommissioning body for No. 1 plant

Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will coordinate the protracted, difficult decommissioning process for the meltdown-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant through a new internal body.

The body, called the Fukushima No. 1 Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Co., was established Tuesday with three representatives from nuclear plant manufacturers including Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. who will be its vice presidents.

“The three people came because we need the expertise all across Japan to overcome the challenges we face in decommissioning the plant and addressing the radioactive water buildup, which no other country in the world has experienced,” Naohiro Masuda, who leads the new company, told a press conference.

Masuda, given the title of chief decommissioning officer, also said he expects Tepco’s decision-making process to become “quite swift” because the decommissioning body will be in close contact with on-site staff and will know the best measures to take.

Masuda, 56, was the head of the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant when the giant March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.