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New management named for Fukushima utility

Associated Press Modified: May 8, 2012 at 5:15 am •  Published: May 8, 2012

TOKYO (AP) — The utility in charge of the Japanese nuclear plant that suffered multiple meltdowns has named an outside candidate as its new chairman.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday that lawyer and corporate restructuring expert Kazuhiko Shimokoube was appointed chairman. It promoted Naomi Hirose, a managing director overseeing the response to the nuclear crisis, to president.

The appointments are subject to shareholder approval next month. Japanese media reports say many potential candidates refused offers to lead TEPCO.

Last year's tsunami destroyed backup generators at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, setting off the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. TEPCO faces the enormous costs of compensating victims and fixing the plant.

The executives heading TEPCO when the crisis struck have already resigned.