A male contract worker died Jan. 19 after falling 30 feet into an empty water storage tank, plant operator TEPCO said Jan. 20. The name of the man, who was in his 50's, has not been released. "[TEPCO] promise[s] to implement measures" to avoid another accident, Fukushima manager Akira Ono said.
Fukushima No. 1 plant worker dies after falling into water storage tank | The Japan Times
TEPCO employees are very well trained and have excellent knowledge of how the Japanese energy sector works, making them very attractive [to potential employers].
- Sean Travers, Japan president at UK recruiting firm EarthStream
Over 2,500 employees have left TEPCO since 2011 including at least a 1,000 that were offered early retirement in 2014. Many of the employees have taken jobs at other companies in the energy sector, including with solar power companies. Less than 150 left in 2010.
TEPCO removed the last remaining fuel rods from the No. 4 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi plant Dec. 2014, marking the first time fuel was removed from one of the four wrecked buildings. Removal eliminates the possibility of additional radioactive material being released from the site.
Fuel Rods Are Removed From Damaged Fukushima Reactor Building
On Aug. 7, 2014, TEPCO proposed to dump previously contaminated groundwater into the ocean starting this fall after treating the water to remove radiation. The plant says it will only proceed on the approval of authorities and that it had briefed local fisherman on the plan in late July 2014.
Tepco to collect toxic groundwater at Fukushima, dump in ocean after treatment | The Japan Times
TEPCO installed two advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) modules at its No. 1 reactor Oct. 22, 2014. The modules joined an existing unit that together work to reduce radioactive materials in waste water.
The entire Fukushima cleanup operation is estimated to take 30-40 years and cost $100 billion, in addition to compensation payouts to those affected by the disaster. TEPCO has so far requested $38 billion from the Japanese government to assist with legal claims.
Kagoshima Prefecture Gov. Yuichiro Ito granted approval for the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant to restart its two reactors on Nov. 7, 2014. The decision makes Sendai the first nuclear plant to reopen in Japan under new safety rules implemented in 2013. The plant is set to go back online in early 2015.
Regional Politicians Approve Restart of Nuclear Plant in South of Japan