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TEPCO to halve executive pay amid Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis (VIDEO)


Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant sign is seen in front of the fence about 1.5 km away from the power plant, on April 12, 2011 in Futaba Town, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency today confirmed that the crisis alert level has been raised from level five to seven, the highest level on the scale. Officials have said despite the level being equal to that of Chernobyl in 1986 that the situation had not become more critical.


Athit Perawongmetha

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said it would halve the total compensation of its president, chairman and other top executives as it grapples with the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at its Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Meanwhile, in Europe thousands of anti-nuclear activists began staging demonstrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at Chernobyl in 1986, as well as the Fukushima crisis.

Protesters in Strasbourg kicked off Easter Monday with a march across the Pont de l'Europe, a bridge that connects the French city with the German town of Kehl, on Monday to demand the closure of France's oldest nuclear power station at Fessenheim.

The protesters waved banners decorated with anti-nuclear slogans and shouted statements such as "Chernobyl, Fukushima, Never again!" according to Deutsche Welle.

Tens of thousands of protesters across Germany and in Belgium kicked marched at a number of other active and non-active nuclear plants.

About 4,500 people rallied Sunday in Tokyo to call for the closure of all nuclear power plants in Japan, NHK Television reported.

The crisis at Fukushima Daiichi — severely damaged on March 11 when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami devastated the country — has had a wide-ranging impact on the economy and financial markets. 

The disaster disabled the cooling systems of the plant, and radioactive elements leaked into the sea and have been found in water, air and food products from Japan.

TEPCO, which pays its executives an average of 37 million yen ($452,074), is seeking government help to foot a massive bill to compensate local citizens and businesses surrounding the plant, according to Reuters.

It would it would cut the annual salary of general staff by 20 percent.