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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

TEPCO faces angry shareholders, calls for abandonment of nuclear power


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TEPCO faces angry shareholders, calls for abandonment of nuclear power

At the annual shareholders’ meeting, the first since the Japanese government acquired control, of TEPCO on Wednesday in downtown Tokyo, demands of the electric utility were hurled towards executives. Shareholders have been unsatisfied with TEPCO’s actions since the 2011 disaster in Fukushima.
It’s been two years since the meltdown in Fukushima, but the cleaning up the nuclear reactors has made little progress. Radiation threats due to radioactive substance leaks also keep residents from returning to their homes. With such state, many people expect to never be able to return to their livelihood. Another stockholder, Ryuko Tachibana from Namie, reminded TEPCO of what they went through. “Please think of our suffering, our uncertainty, our fear of living with radiation,” she said.
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Utilities unreceptive to shareholders' proposals to phase out nuclear power


Tokyo Electric Power Co. Shareholders arrive at a meeting site as protesters stand with anti-nuclear placards in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on the morning of June 26. (Mainichi)
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Shareholders arrive at a meeting site as protesters stand with anti-nuclear placards in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on the morning of June 26. (Mainichi)
Proposals to phase out nuclear power were rejected at general shareholders' meetings held at nine of the country's 10 utilities on June 26.
With Japan's new nuclear standards set to take effect July 8, and the government's enthusiasm for resuming operations of idled nuclear reactors around the country, Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co. And Kyushu Electric Power Co. have also voiced a willingness to restart their reactors at an early date.
As Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) shareholders arrived at a gymnasium in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward where the shareholders' meeting for the operator of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant was to take place, they were welcomed by anti-nuclear activists holding placards .
"Abandonment of nuclear power is the will of the people. Since there have been changes in the (board) membership, I have some hope," said 60-year-old Yui Kimura, who heads the civic group Nuclear Phase-Out TEPCO Shareholder's Movement.
Individual stockholder Kenji Furuhashi, 34, said he took the day off of work to participate in the meeting. "I want to feel the passion of people who are against nuclear power, and listen to the voices of people from the disaster areas," he said. "I want the company to move in the direction of eliminating nuclear power."
Inside, TEPCO President Naomi Hirose opened the meeting at 10 am by reiterating his intention to devote energy to bringing the disaster under control and rebuilding Fukushima Prefecture.
"We will continue to deal responsibly in compensating victims of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant accident and the long-term decommissioning process of the reactors," he said.
Meanwhile, outside the site of Kansai Electric's shareholders' meeting, anti-nuclear civic groups held banners calling for "non-nuclear management," and passed out flyers to shareholders walking in demanding that Oi Nuclear Power Plant be stopped and that operations at Takahama Nuclear Power Plant remain halted.
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Mexican Standoff?


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