Gov., TEPCO execs discuss restart of nuclear plant

Gov., TEPCO execs discuss restart of nuclear plant

The governor of Niigata Prefecture has met executives from Tokyo Electric Power Company over restarting a nuclear power plant in the prefecture.

Ryuichi Yoneyama, who took office last October, has taken a cautious stance on restarting the utility's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

Yoneyama has insisted that the plant should not be put back online until after an investigation into the cause of an accident in Fukushima and its effects on human health. He also said verification of the effectiveness of an evacuation plan for a possible nuclear accident must be completed before a resumption.

On Thursday, Yoneyama met TEPCO executives, including Chairman Fumio Sudo and President Naomi Hirose, for the first time after 2 postponements of their meetings.

Sudo said TEPCO is ready to sincerely respond to the governor's calls. He added that as opinions of local people are most important for the company, the harsher the opinions, the better for TEPCO.

Sudo also said the firm wants to reform its current management system.

The governor said he's not sure how long the verification process will take, but assumes it will probably be several years. He expressed determination to do all he can to accomplish the verification.