From rice balls to sandwiches, desserts and more, a huge chain's newest outpost provides convenience and a touch of normality for Fukushima's workers
FUKUSHIMA, Mar.1 - If you've been to Tokyo, you've seen a Lawson convenience store - and sometimes more than one - on almost every block. Now, that comforting and familiar feature of everyday life - there are more than 12,000 Lawson stores in Japan - has come to the workers at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
In a collaboration between TEPCO and Lawson, the new Lawson opened on March 1, 2016 offering hot and cold drinks, rice balls, sandwiches, dessert pastries, ice cream, and more. It will enable workers to grab a quick snack to augment the hot meals offered by the company's cafeteria in the large rest facility opened last year.
Although workers have been able to grab drinks from vending machines, this will be the first time that many items, even including ice cream and desserts, will be available, and they are expected to be a hit. Future offerings can be expanded more, depending on workers' feedback or requests.
Beyond the increased availability of food and other convenience items, the store provides a familiar touch of home and a symbol of progress at Fukushima Daiichi. That such a facility could even exist at Fukushima Daiichi is an indication of how much progress has been made in improving conditions there.
"In a project expected to take decades, milestones like this are especially important," said Plant Chief Akira Ono. "They reward our workers for the progress they are making, and they reassure the public that things are steadily improving."
To see photos of the new convenience store, go to http://photo.tepco.co.jp/en/date/2016/201603-e/20160301-01e.html
Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) is Japan's largest power company, supplying energy to the greater Kanto area, including Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Its 34,000 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 29.0 million customers, diversifying energy resources to ensure sustainability, and contributing to economic growth while fully meeting its responsibilities after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
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