A manager working on technology for the Takahama nuclear power plant killed himself after working excessive overtime hours, sources have revealed.
The man, in his 40s, was found dead in April in a hotel in Tokyo where he was staying on a business trip.
The suicide of the Kansai Electric Power Co. manager was recognized as a work-related death by the Tsuruga Labor Standards Inspection Office in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, sources said.
It had been a especially hectic time for the Osaka-based utility as two 40-plus-year-old reactors in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, were at risk of being decommissioned if the safety screening process by the Nuclear Regulation Authority was not completed by July 7.
The company was pushing hard to have the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the nuclear power plant pass safety evaluations so that their operational lives could be extended by 20 years.
The dead man was the head of a department in charge of engineering regarding construction at the company, according to the sources.
He was tasked with responding to the NRA as he was responsible for having the construction plans on upgrading the two reactors approved by the nuclear watchdog.
Under the Labor Standards Law, work hours are not restricted for supervisors and managers such as the suicide victim. However, employers still have a responsibility to maintain the health of such employees by ensuring they avoid overwork.