TOKYO, June 5 (Kyodo) — The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in its final in-house inquiry report, will stick to its stance that it could not have done better in responding to the nuclear accident triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami last year, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is expected to issue the final report before its shareholders' meeting on June 27, to end its months-long efforts to nail down the causes of the nuclear disaster. In it, the company will counter a government panel investigating the crisis, which has criticized the utility's initial response.
This Friday, Masataka Shimizu, the former president of the utility known as TEPCO, is to appear as a witness before the parliamentary investigative commission.
In an interim report in December, the government inquiry panel said TEPCO was slow to respond to the failure on March 11, 2011 of emergency equipment for the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima plant, because plant workers were unfamiliar with the equipment and unable to operate it properly.
The panel also criticized the utility for manually halting water injection equipment for the No. 3 reactor two days after the quake and tsunami struck the plant, saying that had TEPCO reacted properly, it would have been able to slow the progression of reactor core meltdown.
In the final report, TEPCO will say it was in no position at the time to know exactly what state the emergency equipment was in, as nearly all power was lost, according to the sources.
As to suspending the No. 3 reactor's water injection equipment, the utility will argue that was done because TEPCO had determined it could switch to alternative water injection equipment, the sources said.
Three of the plant's six reactors suffered meltdowns in the disaster, making it the world's worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.