TEPCO president apologizes to Fukushima governor for nuke crisis

15:34, April 22, 2011      

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The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Masataka Shimizu on Friday apologized for the nuclear crisis caused by the firm's crippled reactors at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture following the March 11 twin disasters that struck the area.

Shimizu told Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato that he was sorry for causing the people of Fukushima prefecture such monumental hardships following TEPCO's No. 1 nuclear power plant spewing massive amounts of radioactive materials into the air, land and sea surrounding the plant and beyond.

Following a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck east and northeast regions of Japan last month, critical cooling systems at the nuclear facility failed sparking a mass evacuation from the vicinity of the plant and a global nuclear emergency, which has yet to be brought under control.

Shimizu said that he would endeavor to bring the crisis at the plant under control as soon as possible so that the people in the affected region could continue their lives as normal.

Sato, for his part, having twice refused to meet Shimizu, told the embattled utility company chief that a resumption of the plant 's operations would be "impossible" and demanded that TEPCO compensate all persons affected by the catastrophe.

He went on to demand better conditions for the workers at the plant still battling to resolve the crisis, as workers at the radiation-leaking plant have reportedly been working in sleep- deprived states and on minimal, processed-food supplies.

Sources close to the matter said that following the 15-minute meeting held at the prefectural government office in Fukushima, Shimizu indicated that he was planning to step down as head of the troubled power company.

Source: Xinhua
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