TOKYO (majirox news) – Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO), owner and plant operator of Fukushima nuclear power plant, management is weighing stepping down to take responsibility for the crippled plant, TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said at a news conference Sunday.
“It may not be everyone, but management is thinking about resigning,” Katsumata said “The most likely timing would be to coincide with a general shareholders meeting (in June).”
According to some sources, President Masataka Shimizu will resign. But Katsumata could stay on until a solution is reached on the crisis.
However, Katsumata said that he was also considering stepping down.
“We sincerely apologize for causing troubles,” Tsunehisa Katsumata. “We are doing our utmost to prevent the crisis from further worsening. I feel very responsible.”
After the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear problems, Katsumata took over for Shimizu, who had temporarily left his post for health reasons.
Meanwhile, TEPCO said Sunday it has plans to stabilize the reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant within the next nine months, and in the meantime it will try to reduce the levels of radioactive materials being emitted.
The plan has two parts. The first part, which is expected to take three months, would include building a new cooling system, critical to ensuring there are no further large-scale releases of radioactive materials. The company then aims to cover three severely damaged reactor buildings and install filters to reduce contamination being released into the air.
In addition, evacuees who had to leave their homes near the plant will be able to return in six to nine months, after the land is decontaminated. But Japanese officials did not provide further details.