Tepco president in hospital as pressure mounts on firm

Masataka Shimizu Tepco has been criticised for its handling of the nuclear crisis

Related Stories

The President of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), Masataka Shimizu, has been taken to hospital in Tokyo.

Mr Shimizu was admitted after suffering from dizziness and high blood pressure, according to the company.

He has not been interviewed since 13 March, sparking speculation about his health. Tepco shares fell 18%.

Tepco has been struggling to avert disaster at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered damage in this month's earthquake and tsunami.

The company's chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata has taken over at the helm.

Tepco has now said, for the first time publicly, that at least four of the plant's six reactors will have to be decommissioned once the crisis subsides.

"After pouring seawater on them... I believe we cannot use them anymore," said Mr Katsumata.

The BBC's Mark Worthington on the latest from Tepco

The Japanese government has been saying since 20 March that the entire plant must be scrapped.

The latest setback for Tepco comes amid reports that radiation leaking into the seawater from its plant has reached its highest level yet.

Nuclear safety officials said on Wednesday that radioactive iodine in seawater outside the plant was 3,355 times more than the normal, a sign that contaminated water was leaking into the ocean.

As the crisis continues, shares in the company tumbled with investors also growing increasingly concerned that the company will be nationalised.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.