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Why absence of TEPCO officers mattered  Daily Yomiuri Online

From the evening of March 11, the Prime Minister's Office and other authorities had asked TEPCO repeatedly to vent the reactor, but the operation did not take place until 10:17 a.m. after Shimizu had arrived at the main office. The decision to inject seawater to cool the reactor cores was another big call, but did not begin until past 8 p.m. on March 12 after Katsumata returned to Japan.

Venting a reactor heightens the risk of radioactive contamination. This decision could place enormous social responsibility on the company and also make it liable for substantial damages. And injecting water into a reactor core essentially destroys it. One reactor costs about 100 billion yen to replace.

A company's shareholders generally are informed before such major actions are taken, and they are not the type of orders that can easily be conveyed over a mobile phone from the Kansai region or China.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 12:10:10 AM EST
Kansai Electric president to replace TEPCO head as utility group chief   TOKYO, April 13, Kyodo

The group of Japanese electric power companies plans to appoint Makoto Yagi, president of Kansai Electric Power Co., as its new chairman, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The move came as Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masakatsu Shimizu intends to give up the chairmanship of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan in the wake of the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the sources said.

The industry group comprising 10 member firms will formalize the appointment of Yagi at its meeting on Friday, according to the sources. The federation customarily chooses its chairman from among the heads of Tokyo Electric, known as TEPCO, Kansai Electric or Chubu Electric Power Co.

Shimizu declined Wednesday to comment on whether he would resign as TEPCO president to take managerial responsibility for the nuclear crisis, although he plans to resign as vice chairman of Japan's largest business lobby, Nippon Keidanren. The post will remain vacant.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 01:31:38 PM EST
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