TEPCO President Hospitalized, Chair of TEPCO Apologizes


TOKYO (majirox news) – Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), apologized for the trouble caused by radiation leaks from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at a press conference today.

Katsumata said he was especially sorry for local residents who had to evacuate or avoid going outside. He also said TEPCO will compensate for damage caused by the radiation leaks in accordance with the law.

‘We apologize for causing the public anxiety, worry and trouble due to the explosions at reactor buildings and the release of radioactive materials,’’ Katsumata said.

TEPCO confirmed that President Masataka Shimizu, 66, was hospitalized Tuesday for hypertension and dizziness. Shimizu fell sick on March 16 and took some days off. Katsumata took the lead in the crisis after Shimizu was hospitalized. Shimizu has not spoken to reporters since March 13.

“It will not take long for Shimizu to return to work and resume taking the lead in handling the crisis,” Katsumata said. ‘‘Our greatest responsibility is to put everything into bringing the current situation to an end and under control.’‘

Katsumata responded to criticisms about hesitating using seawater, “There wasn’t any hesitation in using seawater on the reactors. The company did the best possible to deal with the accident.”

He also confirmed that reactors No.1, 2, 3, 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant “were heavily damaged.”

Water Halved in Reactor No.1
The water level in the turbine building connected to reactor No. 1 has been halved from 40 centimeters to 20 centimeters at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, Japan’s safety agency said today.

Radioactive iodine was 3,355 times the legal limit found in the seawater near the Fukushima plant, which was the highest level ever detected, according to the safety agency.

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