On Monday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) released a statement that said Masao Yoshida, the former chief of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, was required to have emergency surgery last week due to bleeding in the brain. Already in recovery from esophageal cancer, Yoshida’s doctors say the condition is serious, however there is currently no threat to his life, and he remains conscious. TEPCO’s executive vice president, Zengo Aizawa, made the announcement at a press conference, but couldn’t go into further details due to privacy concerns.
As the Fukushima plant chief, Masao Yoshida was present when the nuclear disaster began following the March 11th tsunami, as well as played a significant role in how the ongoing crisis was managed. Aizawa says that Yoshida was ill on Thursday of last week, and the bleeding was discovered after being taken to the hospital.
The former chief resigned from his position last December after the esophageal cancer diagnosis, however doctors have said that the bleeding is connected to any radiation he absorbed while running the plant during the crisis. Yoshida’s esophageal cancer is also very unlikely to be caused by the radiation say researchers, as there was a relatively short amount of time between the disaster, and how far progressed the cancer was when it was discovered.