(Economic Times) The nuclear power plant chief who led the life-risking battle to stabilize the cripple Fukushima reactors when they were spiraling into meltdowns two years ago has died of esophageal cancer. He was 58.
Masao Yoshida died Tuesday in a Tokyo hospital, Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Yoshimi Hitosugi said. TEPCO officials said his illness was not related to radiation exposure.
Yoshida was in charge of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant when the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami knocked out its power and cooling systems, causing reactor meltdowns and massive radiation leaks.
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Recalling the first few days when three reactors suffered meltdowns in succession, Yoshida later said: "There were several instances when I thought we were all going to die here. I feared the plant was getting out of control and we would be finished."