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TEPCO ignores some of its shareholders

June 26, 2014

Tepco shrugs off activist investors
Beleaguered utility swamped by anti-nuclear proposals at annual shareholders' meeting

Tokyo Electric Power Co. shot down a bevy of anti-nuclear policy proposals lobbed up by irate shareholders at its annual meeting Thursday in Tokyo and vowed instead to restart its idled reactors.

Some 2,150 shareholders attended the meeting in Chiyoda Ward.

Outside, anti-nuclear activists from Greenpeace held a rally, calling on Tepco to adequately compensate victims of the radiation leaked by its meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 plant and phase out nuclear energy. Decked out in radiation suits and masks, they held aloft signs that read, “Pay victims, no restart.”

Some shareholders proposed that Tepco abandon nuclear power.

One urged Tepco to revise its 10-year business plan, approved in January, to eliminate reactor restarts.

He also questioned the value of restarting reactors 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture, which is a critical part of the utility’s plans.

“Restarting the two reactors will only add just 2.71 million kw of power. . . . Our firm had more than 59 million kw of capacity at the peak of last summer and was able to easily provide power without nuclear power,” the shareholder said.

He called on the utility to turn to energy-efficient, state-of-the-art thermal power plants, which release less carbon dioxide.

Citing the number of faults running under it, another shareholder urged Tepco to shutter the giant Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

Other proposals included halting construction of the Higashidori plant in Aomori Prefecture, to be jointly operated with Tohoku Electric, and ending investment in Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., which runs a reprocessing plant in Aomori.

But these proposals were all rejected at the meeting.

Individual shareholders also spoke up for anti-nuclear policies during the question-and-answer session.

“Why doesn’t Tepco management flat out say that nuclear power won’t make a profit,” said one shareholder. “I am really wondering about that. Everyone knows that Tepco has gone down because of nuclear power . . . so it won’t do any good to the company if it keeps relying on nuclear power.”

Tepco President Naomi Hirose said the utility’s mission is to provide a stable power supply to customers as cheaply as possible. Without nuclear power, the utility has to rely on thermal power, which pushes up electricity prices due to the increasing costs of importing fuel to run the plants.

None of Japan’s 48 commercial reactors has passed the review needed to restart operations in the wake of the Fukushima accident. All remain offline.



Power companies hold shareholders' meetings



Proposals to scrap nuclear reactors have been rejected at shareholders meetings of 9 major power companies in Japan.

The firms held the annual meetings on Thursday.

Shareholders of Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said it's responsible for the Fukushima nuclear accident, and that restarting reactors that are now offline is outrageous. Shareholders also proposed scrapping nuclear reactors.

TEPCO executives responded that nuclear power is an important part of the nation's basic energy plan.

At the meeting of Kyushu Electric Power Company, shareholders proposed scrapping reactors at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has prioritized a safety screening process for the plant.

Kyushu Electric executives said the company will do its best to improve the plant's safety, and focus on passing the screening.

Shareholders of Kansai Electric Power Company submitted proposals to scrap all of its nuclear plants.

A local district court last month ordered Kansai Electric not to resume operations of two reactors, citing a lack of safety measures.

Jun. 26, 2014 - Updated 09:30 UTC

TEPCO shareholders reject anti-nuclear proposals



The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has apologized to shareholders about problems involving radioactive wastewater there.

More than 2,100 shareholders of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, attended their annual meeting in Tokyo on Thursday.

Chairman Fumio Sudo said competition in the electric power industry will become fierce as reform of its structure proceeds. Sudo said the firm will work to fulfill its responsibility to pay damages caused by the nuclear accident at the plant, decommissioning reactors there, and rebuilding Fukushima Prefecture. He said to do this, the company aims to improve its corporate value by drastically changing its management style and business models.

President Naomi Hirose apologized to the people of Fukushima and large parts of society for causing trouble and anxiety over the contaminated water problems.

Some shareholders said it's outrageous that the company responsible for the accident aims to restart reactors that are offline. Others said the firm must not make the same mistake at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture.

TEPCO executives responded that nuclear power is an important part of the nation's basic energy plan.

The meeting rejected all 10 proposals by shareholders including those calling for abolishing the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants. All proposals submitted by TEPCO's management were approved.

Jun. 26, 2014 - Updated 08:49 UTC

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