An Update on GE Disaster Relief Efforts in Japan

Update: April 6, 2011: GE continues to monitor and respond to events in Japan following the unprecedented natural disasters and the events at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. Working with our partner, Hitachi, we’ve engaged more than 1,000 current and retired nuclear engineers to provide technical assistance to Tokyo Electric Power Company, the government of Japan, and other government agencies and customers.

Our first concern continues to be helping the people of the Japan recover from the crisis. GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt visited Japan on April 2 and during that time announced that the GE Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of GE, will be doubling its financial support for relief efforts to $10 million. The funds will be used for long-term relief and recovery within the affected area, including medical and energy equipment and continued support to relief agencies. (Details about the initial $5 million pledged immediately following the earthquake and tsunami can be found in our original report, below).

As of April 5, GE employees from 40 countries have pledged more than $941,000 in cash to disaster relief organizations associated with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. With GE Foundation Matching Gifts, this overall GE employee commitment has surpassed $1.88 million. These donations are above and beyond the $10 million commitment announced by GE.

Over the long term, GE is looking for ways to assist with efforts to rebuild critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and power generation and transmission equipment. As part of this effort, GE has prioritized resources to help Japan meet emergency power demands and has now made more than 20 gas turbine units available for Japan, including 10 flexible-use TM2500 aero-derivative engines. These will be ready for operation by the beginning of this summer, when demand – and the potential for blackouts — will be the greatest.

Update: March 17, 2011:
GE continues to monitor and respond to events in Japan following the unprecedented natural disasters, including events at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, which suffered a loss of power after a tsunami struck the site.

Immediately following the magnitude 9.0 offshore quake and tsunami, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt announced that the company will commit $5 million in cash, equipment and services toward relief efforts in Japan. Some of these donations have already been identified and put into place.

  • The GE Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of GE, has committed ¥100 million (USD$1.25 million) to Japan Red Cross.

  • The GE Foundation has committed ¥100 million (USD$1.25 million) to Miyagi Prefecture Disaster Response Fund. Miyagi Prefecture is the hardest hit area as its capital is the city of Sendai.

  • A total of USD $0.7 million in healthcare-related product donations have been committed, including handheld ultrasounds. The units are in stock and we are working with the Japanese government’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) to deploy the units to medical teams and practitioners assisting victims of the disaster.

As of March 21, GE employees from 26 countries have pledged more than $500,000 in cash to disaster relief organizations associated with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. With GE Foundation Matching Gifts, this overall GE employee commitment has surpassed $1 million. These donations are above and beyond the $5 million commitment announced by GE last week.

In addition to the ongoing search and rescue missions to recover survivors, the primary focus is to provide relief and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been evacuated due to the nuclear emergency, earthquake and tsunami. According to the latest update by the Red Cross, cold weather and snow are now complicating the emergency relief operation, which was already challenged by continued aftershocks, fuel shortages and inaccessible roads. Emergency teams still have not been able to reach all the affected areas due to logistical challenges.

In the coming days and weeks, the priorities will expand to reestablishing essential infrastructure and services to the impacted areas while continuing to support recovery efforts. GE will continue to work with local partners and government officials to determine how best to help in the recovery phase.

To this end, the government of Japan is working directly with GE’s leaders in the region to identify GE business capabilities that can help in the recovery and rebuilding phase and best complement Japan’s response capacity.

GE and its nuclear energy business has a 24-hour command center working on the situation that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and has been communicating with its customers and the Japanese and U.S. governments. Details can be found in our last update.

Other efforts continue across the company, such as GE Transportation’s offer to donate a GE Genset, a high-voltage generator powered by a locomotive engine, to heavy equipment maker Komatsu Ltd. to see if it can be of use in its disaster relief efforts.

Elderly patients are seen being brought to a field hospital on March 12, 2011. Photo: Japanese Red Cross

* Read our story about Mark 1 reactors
* Read our update of March 16
* Read “Setting the Record Straight on Mark I Containment”


  1. most challenging tasks GE way says:

    Salute to GE for having organization these great efforts to support Japan recovery in the future…ask what else GE can do more to demonstrate the technology excellence of the GE Way…to alleviate this situation…

  2. Tak says:

    Could you please send GE engineers and specialist who designed this nuclear plant in Japan?
    According to Nikkei and NHK, One or Two Nuclar Plant in Fukushima are designed by GE. You should be able to supply detailed schedule, soultion, different approcahed, and long term plans. Money contrubution is great, but this is what GE has can do most to Japan. That’s what innovative and creative GE can, I hope.

  3. Thoris says:

    You shouldn’t donate money to Japan. The Japanese Red Cross says they do not need money. Japan is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. They are fully capable of handling the costs of the recovery from this disaster; they are not Haiti. If you donate cash from your own pocket it will very likely go to other efforts within whatever organization you have donated to, i.e. the organization’s overhead costs, other relief efforts around the world.

  4. doug linman, PhD says:

    We are working on a nano-retardant spray idea to help contain and possible inhibit further radiation issues at the blast site and possibly also used as an aerosol to support containment for immediate area- air quality contamination issue as well. WE hope to receive government approval to move forward with our solution quickly to build and test the solution and also the deployment method (shower spray from helicopters) to help.

  5. Dr. Katsuhiko Ohsaki says:

    No, the Japanese Red Cross does not say so. Any donation is highly appreciated. Huge number of people lost everything. For resuming from this terrible situation, GE’s donation is very appreciated. The money is to be passed to suffered people to help them to re-start. It is NOT a problem of Japan’s “wealthiest” economy. Many economically poor but rich in spirituality people exist in Japan. They are fighting against the disaster. It is our duty to hep them.
    Thank you, GE. Also for your effort to support Japan.

  6. Thoris says:

    From the Int’l Red Cross ( ):

    “The Japanese Red Cross Society, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
    Crescent Societies, has determined that external assistance is not required, and is therefore not seeking
    funding or other assistance from donors at this time.”

    The donation of equipment and personnel to help is perfectly fine on the part of GE and other countries. But Japan is a wealthy, fully developed 1st world country and they do not need cash. They are capable of helping their own countrymen. They have the maney and infrastructure.

  7. quantum cat says:

    Japan’s tsunami showed us that the threat of tsunamis is danger lurking.
    Remember that if half of the island of Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands is dropped into water will create a tsunami that will devastate the U.S. east coast. In addition, many scientists think that global warming is causing the melting of gas deposits put underground ocean, which causes huge gaps remain under the seabed that the collapse suck massive amounts of water, creating huge tsunamis. Perhaps the tsunami in Indonesia was caused by falling from the roof of a reservoir of methane underwater vacuum.
    To address the imminent threat of more tsunamis, I suggest:
    A) That GE set a challenge for coastal shelter building to withstand tsunamis.
    B) That GE launches challenge to curb global warming. I suggest the creation of back-to capture carbon dioxide.
    C) That GE launches challenge to create defensive barriers against tsunamis to nuclear plants.
    CH) that GE set to challenge ideas about how to clean water radiation near the reactor in Japan.
    We know the danger exists: Two devastating tsunamis in no time!: Indonesia and Japan. If we do nothing, how will we feel when walking along the coast, when all is desolation and death?

  8. Gary Avery says:

    I would like to know if anyone suggested to use activated charcoal absorbers to clean the water. Once absorbered, incenerate the charcoal to a dust. then bury in concrete. You could set up a perimeter area & pump all the water through the filters. It worked for dioxins at the little Niagra River. Well I am sure someone smarter than me has suggested this any way have a great day


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