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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

LDP panel proposes breaking up TEPCO

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By Takaya Yamaguchi and Kentaro Hamada

TOKYO —
Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) should be stripped of the responsibility for shutting down its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, according to a draft proposal by a panel of Japan’s ruling party.
TEPCO has been widely criticized for repeated missteps, poor planning and a lack of disclosure in its efforts to clear up the site of the nuclear disaster.
A task force formed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) suggests that responsibility for the massive work of decommissioning the Fukushima plant be stripped from the giant utility in its current form - either by creating a separate unit within TEPCO, breaking the unit off as a separate company or hiving it off as a government-affiliated, but independent, administrative agency.
A person familiar with the LDP panel’s deliberations said it favors the option of creating a separate organization within TEPCO to handle decommissioning - a job that could take decades as massive amounts of toxic water and spent fuel are removed and stored elsewhere.
The policy recommendations will be presented to Abe as soon as next week.
“We need to have a prompt conclusion to create a clear and realistic organization,” said the draft proposal, reviewed by Reuters.
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