Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TEPCO's New President: "TEPCO Has to Be Sensitive to How People Sees the Company"

That comment alone may tell you that he is not an engineer. But then, TEPCO has never been an engineering or technology company anyway.

As part of the deal for the public money injection into the company, TEPCO has a new set of top management, including the chairman sent from the Noda administration. The new president, Naomi Hirose, is from the sales department, which is unusual for the company, but not much departure from the past presidents of TEPCO who were from the planning or the general affairs departments with strong ties to the government officials.

Some of Hirose's remarks during the press conference, from Yomiuri Shinbun (5/8/2012):

東京電力の次期社長に内定した広瀬直己常務(59)は8日、記者会見し、「しっかり変革をして、一日も早く『東電も少し変わってきた』と思ってもらえるように頑張っていきたい」と抱負を語った。

Naomi Hirose (age 59), Executive Director of TEPCO and soon-to-be President, held a press conference on May 8 and spoke of his aspirations, "I will try my best to reform the company so that people can feel "Oh, TEPCO is slowly but surely changing"."

 「社会から東電がどう見られているか、もう少し敏感でなければならない」とも指摘した。

He also pointed out that TEPCO should be more aware how it is perceived in the society.

 福島第一原子力発電所事故の被災者への賠償と、原発の廃炉作業、電力の安定供給の三つを優先して取り組む考えを表明した。

He listed three issues as his priorities: compensating the victims of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, decommissioning the plant, and providing electricity in a stable manner.

 経営のカギを握る柏崎刈羽原子力発電所(新潟県)のあり方については、「(新潟県が求める)福島第一原発事故の検証をしっかりやっていかなくてはならない。(地元の)理解をいただき、再稼働につなげたい」と述べ、再稼働に意欲を示した。東電の総合特別事業計画では2013年度の原発再稼働を見込んでおり、政府は9日にも総合計画を認定する見通しだ。

As to Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (in Niigata Prefecture), which is considered key to TEPCO's operation, Hirose said, "We will have to do the detailed investigation of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, as Niigata Prefecture demands. Then we may be able to obtain the consent [of the local municipalities] to restart the plant." In TEPCO's overall special business plan, Kashiwazaki-kariwa is to be restarted in the fiscal 2013. The national government is scheduled to approve the business plan on May 9.


That business plan also include raising the utility charges for the ordinary household customers by 700 yen (US$8.77) per month starting July, to help pay for decommissioning. TEPCO will also introduce the tiered fee structure, so it will cost more to use electricity during the peak hours in summer (middle of the day).

Independent journalist Ryuichi Kino, who attended the press conference, noticed a peculiar Japanese phrase that Mr. Hirose used. It is an expression in the literary (as opposed to spoken) style Japanese that means "be that as it may". Kino says he has noticed over the last year that this particular phrase is used by many top bureaucrats in the top ministries of the government, and wonders if Mr. Hirose is closer to them than to common people after all. Uh... yes. The role of the president of TEPCO has always been to work with the bureaucrats and politicians.

As to the bureaucrats who use old-style literary Japanese, one prominent novelist, Ryotaro Shiba, in Japan once wrote, "For the bureaucrats in the central government, it is still the Meiji era with Charter Oath of Five Articles and Grand Council of State" which governed the country in the absence of a parliament by popular election.

14 comments:

Darth3/11 said...

In other words, TEPCO hasn't learned the big lesson that the rest of Japan seems to be getting...that *all* npps in Japan are off limits because the risk and consequences are unbearable.

As for "compensating the victims", does that include buying and burying all farm products growing in radiated soil, especially if over the so-called limits of safety? How serious is TEPCO about this, anyway?

Hirose-san's comments do not make me feel hopeful. Looks like nothing is really going to change.

I wonder what the "literary phrase" was...

Anonymous said...

This is no solution.

TEPCO cannot spend the money needed to pay full compensation or to fully secure the site from future risk. They won't do it.

TEPCO must be removed from the cleanup and compensation process. An independent entity is needed for the cleanup. In the end, that entity would simply send an invoice to whatever is left of TEPCO.

Also TEPCO should also NEVER be allowed to operate a nuclear power plant again. Would you trust a drunk driver who killed to drive again? No way. TEPCO should never be trusted to operate a NPP again.

PG said...

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PG said...

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Anonymous said...

Renewable energy and civil society in post-Fukushima Japan
May 8th, 2012
Author: Sebastian Maslow, Tohoku University

http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/05/08/renewable-energy-and-civil-society-in-post-fukushima-japan/

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting the article and existing comments back up Areva.

Anonymous said...

__________________________________________________Wow. TEPCO's new President and Ex-Skf's Laprimavera are, currently, using very similar terms to describe TEPCO.

EX-SKF HEADLINE, April 15, 2012: "FUKUSHIMA 1 NUKE PLANT REACTOR 4's SLOWLY CHANGING LOOK: Photos from March 2011 to March 2012". (Frankly I was quite taken aback by that headline -- given that it paints a more favorable picture then is commonly seen in the MSM nowadays, when so much of the news has been focusing on the horrible conditions of Unit 4 and the unacceptable risk posed by the spent fuel pool.)

TEPCO's NEW PR MOTTO, May 8, 2012: Naomi Hirose, Executive Director of TEPCO and soon-to-be President, held a press conference and spoke of his aspirations, "I will try my best to reform the company so that people can feel "OH, TEPCO IS SLOWLY BUT SURELY CHANGING".

That's quite a remarkable, and to my mind disconcerting, coincidence.
__________________________________________________

Anonymous said...

For those of you who wish to help Pahl Dixon make a buck, go ahead and buy his stuff. However, the fact is that whatever hot particles are attached to our body tissues already are there for the rest of our lives, and will cause cancer no matter how much biosuperfoods we consume. Let's focus on shutting down all nuclear power plants, not on producing products to help us live with them.

Anonymous said...

They must KEEP them shut so this never happens again in Japan.

The nuclear industry can not guarantee it will never happen again.

Earthquake, tsunami or human error, take your pick.

"Nuclear power is an inherently hazardous technology; there's no way to make it perfectly safe." The scientists have even admitted it.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/

Anonymous said...

@Ex-SKF Please remove PG's post. We do not need advertisements of questionable products here.

@PG Please eat your biosuperfood by yourself and don't try to spam this forum with your scam of selling some voodoo stuff here. Utter BS and an obvious scam.

Anonymous said...

Funny, the 700 yen raise. I thought someone mentioned that getting rid of all nuke in japan would raise bills by 1000 yen...

jmdesp said...

@Anonymous : 5:38 PM
Could you substantiate your affirmation with facts ?
AFAIK :
- The Carbon 14 and Potassium 40 naturally present inside our body constantly generate around 8000 bq of radiation, during all of our life, that's ingested radiation
- Cesium 137 stays around 2 month inside the body before naturally going out.
- A part of any ingested Strontium 90 will be integrated inside bones, and this time stay about forever. However except in the short distance vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi, the level of released Strontium 90 stayed at about non measurable levels. This means in practice even with the worth possible factors all united together, it's hard to figure how anyone in Japan could have absorbed more than 1 or 2 bq of 90Sr, contributing to a level of irradiation more than one thousand time smaller than the inner level of irradiation we all have. And that inner level of radiation is about 2 times smaller than the level of irradiation the average American gets from routine medical check-ups.

If I'm wrong, I'm ready to inform myself on any misconception I may have about this. But please, based on demonstrated facts, not on scaremongering that actually does nothing to help the people living in Japan, who expect real information.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:44

We must err on the side of caution. Scientist took years to prove smoking was bad for you when many doctors already knew it was.

There are hot spots, even in Tokyo. Kick a dry bit of dirt and you can release hot particles into the air and ingest them. Well above safe levels.

Study the results of Chernobyl and see that all the birth defects and cancers that doctors could see with their own eyes, and that did not happen before the Nuclear explosion, could not be proven by scientists.

Scientist are not gods and they are payed by universities and grants that come from somewhere. It happens in other walks of life so why not in the scientific world. No better but no worse.

Proof can come later than it is needed. So err on the side of caution to be safe and don't build or restart any more Fukushimas. That is the only way we can help Japan now.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous @5:38 PM

Your statement " [...]the fact is that whatever hot particles are attached to our body tissues already are there for the rest of our lives"is fortunately not correct.
Whether and how much of an ingested substance (if radioactive or not) will stay in your body, depends on how your body metabolizes it. Iodine gets 'processed' in the thyroid gland, while cesium is predominantly accumulated in muscles. Strontium is bad because its biochemical behavior similar to calcium and the body deposits it in bone and bone marrow. However, all of the aforementioned substances are also excreted to a certain extent. Time and excretion percentage varies by substance. Nevertheless, we should of course avoid ingestion of radioactive substances at any time.
Pahl Dixon's biosuperfood is of course unscientific BS and a scam.

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