GE Hitachi Spokesman Michael Tetuan released the following statement to ncnuke.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Statement

March 15, 2011 11:07 AM

First and foremost, our thoughts continue to be with the people of Japan affected by the devastating impact of last Friday’s unprecedented natural disaster.

We are closely monitoring the events at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant which were caused by a loss of power after the tsunami struck the site. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant operator, is managing the response efforts.

During the magnitude 9.0 earthquake (the fifth largest earthquake in recorded history), the GE BWR reactors performed as designed and initiated safe shut down. Next, the back-up generators performed as designed to begin the cooling process. Shortly thereafter, the tsunami took out the diesel motor powering back-up generators resulting in a power failure.

Immediately following the earthquake and tsunami, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GE’s nuclear joint venture with Hitachi) communicated to the Japanese Government and TEPCO that we were ready to assist them. We assembled an incident response and engineering team to provide 24/7 support.

We are now taking a number of additional actions, including:

–          providing technical assistance to TEPCO through our joint venture partners in Japan

–          providing technical assistance to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which is in turn providing assistance to the Japanese government

–          responding to a request today from TEPCO to deliver GE truck-mounted gas turbines which can provide temporary power

–          engaging our network of more than 1,000 engineers within GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to provide technical assistance to the NRC, Nuclear Energy Institute, the government of Japan and TEPCO.

The fleet of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) BWR reactors has a proven track record of performing reliably and safely for more than 40 years. 

GEH is our global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry.  In 2010, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy earned approximately $1 billion in revenue.