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TEPCO's nuclear plans

May 12, 2017


TEPCO aims for nuclear power business realignment in 2020s




Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Holdings Inc. unveiled a plan to seek realignment of its nuclear power business and power transmission and distribution units with other power companies in the 2020s, amid a lukewarm stance in the industry toward teaming up with the embattled utility.

TEPCO Holdings submitted the plan to the government on May 11 together with the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. (NDF), as the utility's new rehabilitation scheme following the outbreak of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster.

Specific steps for advancing the realignment will be finalized as early as this coming fall after TEPCO discusses the matter with the government and NDF. However, the reconstruction plan looks unfeasible as other power companies remain reluctant to join hands with TEPCO, which is riddled with colossal amounts of damage compensation and nuclear decontamination and reactor decommissioning costs stemming from the nuclear disaster.

Under the plan, TEPCO aims to promote realignment and integration of its nuclear power, power transmission and distribution businesses over the next decade, "ultimately seeking to achieve roughly 450 billion yen in ordinary profits annually." To facilitate the realignment, TEPCO is planning to set up a new consortium together with other utilities.

"We filed the plan with the government after having repeated discussions on how to enhance TEPCO's corporate value," TEPCO Holdings President Naomi Hirose told a press conference. "We believe the government will approve our plan."

Under the new strategy, 500 billion yen annually will be set aside for dealing with the Fukushima nuclear crisis. To that end, TEPCO presented six different scenarios for resuming operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture to improve earnings, with reactor reactivation envisaged either in fiscal 2019, fiscal 2020, or fiscal 2021.

With regard to the estimated 4-trillion-yen cost for decontaminating areas tainted with radioactive materials emanating from the nuclear catastrophe, which the government is temporarily covering on behalf of TEPCO via the NDF, TEPCO has changed its initial plan to reimburse the government by selling corporate shares and now plans to consider the matter from a broader perspective, including the option of selling shares of the new consortium.

TEPCO will also look into having its effective nationalization finalized by the end of fiscal 2019, according to the plan.

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