Diet panel and TEPCO may square off over plans to abandon Fukushima Daiichi reactors at height of nuclear disaster

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A Diet panel investigating the causes of the nuclear crisis recently interviewed key politicians who responded to the early stage of the emergency, hoping to bring one important fact point to light, whether Masataka Shimizu, TEPCO president at the time of the nuclear accident, said that all 600 workers would have to flee from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Tepco has since been denying that it ever thought of abandoning the plant and has insisted it was thinking of leaving a skeleton crew to handle the accident while temporarily withdrawing everyone else who was not deeply involved with the containment efforts, but all of the top-ranking officials handling the disaster at the time — including then Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano and industry minister Banri Kaieda — believed the utility was trying to abandon the plant.

Kiyoshi Kurokawa, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo who chairs the panel, said it may seize internal Tepco documents to investigate this critical question. The Diet panel has the legal authority to gather information.

Source: Japan Times

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