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7.5 billion extra gov't dollars for compensation funds

February 5, 2013

TEPCO gets approval for $7.5 billion more compensation funds





Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Feb. 4 received approval to tap the Japanese government for $7.5 billion more funds to compensate those harmed by the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

TEPCO issued a statement saying the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry had approved the utility's request to increase compensation by 697 billion yen ($7.5 billion), or 22 percent, to 3.24 trillion yen.

The increase was requested because of changes to requirements for receiving compensation. About 160,000 people were evacuated from areas around the plant after an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused reactor meltdowns and the worst radiological release since 1986. TEPCO has admitted it was insufficiently prepared for natural disasters.

Compensation funds do not include costs to decommission the four damaged reactor buildings inside the Fukushima No. 1 plant north of Tokyo.

TEPCO also said on Feb. 4 it had a 2.22 billion yen loss for the nine months through December and almost tripled its full-year loss forecast to 120 billion yen

TEPCO officials said in November the costs of compensation and decontamination may double to 10 trillion yen, making greater government support vital.

All but two of Japan's 50 reactors have been halted for maintenance and safety checks to see if they could withstand an earthquake and tsunami similar the March 2011 disaster.

($1 = 92.6100 Japanese yen)

Gov't to give more aid to TEPCO for compensation payments



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government decided Monday to provide an additional 696.8 billion yen to Tokyo Electric Power Co. to help the utility pay its compensation liabilities stemming from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster.

The new aid brings to more than 3 trillion yen the total assistance paid to TEPCO over the disaster.

The decision was included in a revised version of the 10-year restructuring plan for TEPCO, initially authorized by the government in May last year to put the ailing company's business back on track while avoiding bankruptcy.

Apart from the funds provided from a state-backed bailout fund to ensure swift compensation payments, TEPCO has received a capital injection of 1 trillion yen in line with the restructuring plan, a move that has put the utility under de facto state control.

TEPCO needs massive funds not only to compensate people and companies affected by the nuclear disaster, triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, but also to scrap the Fukushima plant's crippled reactors and finance increasing fuel costs for thermal power generation.

TEPCO plans to eventually repay the funds it received for compensation purposes from the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund.

TEPCO also promised that it will accept compensation claims over the nuclear disaster beyond the three-year legal time limit for seeking damages.



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