Tepco has submitted a report to METI in which it compared GE’s documents with its own documentation. Out of the 29 cases, Tepco believes that 16 were ‘inappropriate’. However, there were no safety issues with any of the cases.

Tepco admitted in the report that there had been ‘systematic and inappropriate management of nuclear power inspections and repair work’ over a long period. Tepco’s report said that employees in charge of maintenance work would have had to follow such precedents, even if they believed something to be wrong. Tepco concluded that the responsibility lay with the nuclear power stations as a whole, and with the nuclear power sections of the head office, and finally, the top management of these sections.

The report also addressed the motives for this misconduct. For employees in charge of inspection and maintenance work, the most important concern was to complete periodic inspections and to bring their own plants back on line as scheduled. Top management in the nuclear departments had similar concerns and priorities. These concerns and priorities resulted in the view that maintenance sections did not have to report problems to the regulator and local governments in the vicinity of the stations as long as there were no safety implications. Nonetheless METI is considering criminal prosecutions against Tepco personnel because ‘actions taken were probably illegal under Japanese law’.

Tepco is taking measures to attempt to prevent a recurrence of the present situation by:

• Improving transparency

• conducting more stringent internal audits and reforming the corporate culture

• thoroughly complying with a suitable model of corporate ethics.