Tepco launches reformation

13 September 2012

A former head of the US nuclear regulator is to join one of two special advisory bodies tasked by Japanese utility Tepco with reforming the company's management and safety culture.

The two new organizations - the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee and the Investigation/Verification Project Team - are to be monitored and led by external experts and will advise Tepco's board of directors on how to establish the highest of standards. Investigations following on from the Fukushima Daichi accident have highlighted the need for reform in Japanese corporate culture. Governance, risk management and information disclosure have all been singled out as areas for the country's nuclear operators to target following the experiences at Fukushima.

Tepco's Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee brings together president of Japanese business management training specialist Business Breakthrough Kenichi Ohmae, former member of the National Diet Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) Masafumi Sakurai and former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) chairman Dale Klein. Its remit is to strictly monitor the implementation and progress of reforms.

The second advisory body, the Investigation/Verification Project Team, will operate internally under the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee. Also comprised of external experts, it will conduct investigations and verifications based on the Fukushima accident investigation reports, clarifying issues and strengthening accident prevention measures. The team will be headed by Masafumi Sakurai.

To put reforms into practice, Tepco has established a Nuclear Reform Special Task Force. Led by the company's president and supported by its own secretariat, the task force will be supervised by the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee.

In a statement, Tepco said that the company was "determined to abandon our previously held overconfidence" in existing safety culture and measures and to begin to implement management reforms. "We are determined to prevent the reoccurrence of another disastrous accident. To this end, present safety policies will be reformed from the ground up while taking into consideration domestic and overseas expert opinions," the statement said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News