TEPCO’s Naomi Hirose ’83 on Leading a Company Through a Nuclear Accident

In March 2011, the largest earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s recorded history severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Since becoming president of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in 2012, Naomi Hirose ’83 has had the task of helping the company and the surrounding community recover.

Naomi Hirose ’83

Speaking as part of the Leaders Forum lecture series, Hirose discussed the complex challenges posed by the cleanup and the lessons that are being learned in the process. 

“We’ve made great progress and met equally great challenges,” Hirose said. “The story of our recovery doesn’t get out as much as we like—and the challenges, which are managerial, technological, and financial, are more complex than many people realize.”

The central challenge, he said, “is to develop and execute a vision for the future for our stakeholders, while at the same time executing a remedial program which will extend decades, requires technology as yet not invented, costs an unimaginable amount of money, and is filled with danger and uncertainty.”