TOKYO (majirox news) – Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) will never be allowed to resume operations at its Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, said Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato today. The crippled plant has been emitting radioactive material in the air, land, and sea, since an earthquake and tsunami struck northeast Japan on March 11.
“A resumption of plant operations is impossible,” Sato told Masataka Shimizu, president of TEPCO, during their first meeting today at the prefectural government office. Sato had twice refused to meet him.
Sato demanded that TEPCO, owner and plant operator, compensate all persons affected by the nuclear crisis, including farmers, fishermen, manufacturers and tourism industry operators. He also insisted on better conditions for the workers at the plant still fighting to resolve the crisis, as workers at the plant have allegedly been working in sleep-deprived states and on minimal, processed-food supplies.
Shimizu apologized for the nuclear crisis and for causing so much trouble for people in Fukushima prefecture. He promised to bring the reactors under control as soon as possible so that residents of areas around the plant can resume their normal lives.
“Your apology has no heart,” Sato said, according to TBS. “There must be some other way to apologize. I don’t think I will ever see you again.”
After their 15-minute meeting, Shimizu went to a shelter in Fukushima City to meet with its 1,600 evacuees. Sato had previously told Shimizu that it was too late to visit the shelter for the first time and that the anger and fear of the people in this area has reached its limit.
In fact, the evacuees were visibly angry and some were crying when they spoke with Shimizu at the shelter.
One evacuee said, “You promised us that the plant was safe.”
Another pleaded, ” Make it possible for us to go back. I want to go home.”
Others said, “You’re staying in Tokyo where it’s safe, and we are not staying in a safe area.”
“Why don’t you just visit the Dai-ichi plant and stay there?”
“Why not stay in a shelter overnight?”
Some talked to him about the harsh conditions at the shelter.
Shimizu later suggested to reporters he would step down at the appropriate time to take responsibility for the disaster. Shimizu was hospitalized in late March for hypertension and dizziness.