Tokyo Electric Power Co. will soon release the results of its voluntary nuclear reactor inspections in an attempt to appease local communities and restore its recently battered credibility, Tepco officials said Monday.
The power utility is also expected to present a series of new steps, including a provision to hold regular meetings with communities to keep them up to date on the condition of the facilities. This would include small cracks or other structural faults discovered.
The results are expected to be released as early as Tuesday.
To date, Tepco has never revealed the results of voluntary inspections. It only provides local communities with data from regular inspections, which are held once every 13 months, as stipulated by law.
In August, a scandal erupted when it was learned that the nation’s largest power utility covered up damage discovered at its reactors in Fukushima and Niigata prefectures.
Tepco is suspected of violating the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law in connection with cracks found in the steam dryer of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
Video footage showing the cracks was allegedly cut from an inspection tape at the request of a Tepco employee. Tepco denies that any of its employees issued such a request. The videotape no longer exists, Tepco added.
To regain public trust, Tepco will create a department directly under the president that will monitor nuclear reactor safety. It will also increase the utility’s capacity to accept information on irregularities and problems.
Tepco said it will accept inspection data from maintenance people outside the company and will ensure that such information is made known to the president. And a third-party organization will be established to check that all such information has been adequately processed.
Tepco is also considering setting up a group of outside advisers to ensure the inspections are being properly conducted, and may establish a so-called company ethics committee, an external third-party entity that will include lawyers.
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