Head of Fukushima Nuclear Plant Operator TEPCO Vows ‘Determination,’ ‘Resolve’ to Safely Release Treated Water

The Yomiuri Shimbun
TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa speaks during a press conference at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Thursday afternoon.

As a step toward the decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, diluted treated water from the facility is being released into the sea over a period of about 30 years.

“I am aware of our heavy responsibility,” Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., said during a press conference at the plant on Thursday afternoon hours after the water discharge began.

“As president, I will take the lead in dealing with the situation with strong determination and resolve,” he said.

Kobayakawa said that he had been at the Fukushima plant since Wednesday and had confirmed the results of the sampling and analysis of the treated water after dilution. He added that the results of the measurements of the tritium concentration taken at sea would be made public on Friday.

The board of directors of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations held a meeting with Kobayakawa in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, earlier on Thursday.

The TEPCO president said that the association demanded that he ensure the safe operation of the water discharge process and disseminate correct information to prevent reputational damage.

“The decommissioning work will take 30 or 40 years,” Kobayakawa said. “Through the end of that process, we will make company-wide efforts to operate facilities with safety as the top priority, conduct prompt monitoring, disseminate accurate and easy-to-understand information, ensure transparency, take measures against harmful rumors and provide appropriate compensation in the event of damage.”