Toshiba, Hitachi send engineers to stricken nuclear plant

TOKYO Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:24am EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Electronics giants Toshiba and Hitachi said on Tuesday they had dispatched hundreds of staff to provide support at Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and to carry out checks at the neighboring Daini plant.

Both companies supplied reactors at the Daiichi plant, where this month's devastating quake and tsunami have sparked a nuclear emergency that the government, armed forces and operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) are struggling to bring under control.

Toshiba said it had sent a 100-strong team to the two Fukushima plants as part of a task-force of 700 Toshiba staff working to defuse the nuclear crisis. Hitachi said it had sent 120 staff to the Daiichi plant in Fukushima, north of Tokyo, and set up a 1,000-strong task force.

Toshiba added that it had established a separate 150-strong team to help boost thermal generation capacity and restore the transmission network to combat power shortages in the Tokyo region and in northern Japan.

Toshiba manufactured two of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors by itself and two jointly with General Electric. Hitachi manufactured another, while a sixth was supplied by GE alone.

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Joseph Radford)