Japan may put nuclear power firm under state control

Dec 27, 2011
Black smoke rise from the third reactor building of TEPCO's No.1 Fukushima nuclear power plant in March. TEPCO Tuesday asked for an extra $8.5 bln in aid from a government-backed fund to help it compensate families affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Japan's government on Tuesday floated the idea of putting the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant under temporary state control, as it asked for $8.9 billion more in compensation aid.

Yukio Edano, the minister of economy, trade and industry, told Power Co. (TEPCO) to consider "every possibility including temporary state control" to strengthen its financial base, the Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported.

Edano made the remark when he met TEPCO president Toshio Nishizawa after the company asked for the additional aid from a government-backed fund to help it compensate families affected by the

A and tsunami on March 11 left 20,000 dead or missing and crippled nuclear reactors into meltdown at the plant in Japan's northeast.

The company's request, if granted, would bring the amount of aid the utility has sought from the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation to 1.7 trillion yen ($21.8 billion) from a previous 1.01 trillion yen.

TEPCO said the increase results from government moves to widen eligibility criteria for claimants and to alter the evacuation zone restrictions around the stricken plant, which was hit by the tsunami's .

The decisions have increased both the amount of compensation that the firm is liable for and the number of people entitled to claim it, TEPCO said.

"We submitted a change to the amount of financial assistance" required, it said in a statement.

A government panel has estimated claims from victims affected by the world's worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl could reach 4.5 trillion yen by 2013.

The accident has not directly claimed any lives, but left tens of thousands of people displaced and rendered whole towns uninhabitable, possibly for decades.

The utility's shares tumbled earlier this month on a press report that it would be effectively nationalised following a massive government share purchase.

The share purchase -- which would be made through a state-backed body set up to help pay nuclear compensation costs -- was aimed at putting TEPCO under temporary government control as it undergoes a massive restructuring, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

The report did not say what percentage of TEPCO shares the would own after the sale, but added that Tokyo would move to replace company chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and most of its senior executives.

Explore further: Website shines light on renewable energy resources

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan minister questions radioactive water dump

Dec 13, 2011

Japan's industry minister Tuesday rejected a plan by the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to release low-level radioactive water into the sea without approval by local fishermen.

Japan nuclear meltdown 'maybe worse than thought'

Dec 01, 2011

Molten nuclear fuel at Japan's Fukushima plant might have eaten two thirds of the way through a concrete containment base, its operator said, citing a new simulation of the extent of the March disaster.

Robots to gauge radiation in Japan's quake-hit plant

Apr 18, 2011

The operator of Japan's stricken nuclear plant said Sunday it will send two remote-controlled robots into a reactor building damaged by a hydrogen explosion to gauge radiation and temperature levels.

Recommended for you

Website shines light on renewable energy resources

11 hours ago

A team from the University of Arizona and eight southwestern electric utility companies have built a pioneering web portal that provides insight into renewable energy sources and how they contribute to the ...

Better software cuts computer energy use

11 hours ago

An EU research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart ...

Cook farm waste into energy

Dec 17, 2014

It takes some cooking, but turning farm waste into biofuels is now possible and makes economic sense, according to preliminary research from the University of Guelph.

Developing a reliable wind 'super grid' for Europe

Dec 17, 2014

EU researchers are involved in the development of a pan-European 'super grid' capable of dispersing wind power across Member States. This will bring more renewable energy into homes and businesses, help reduce ...

Boeing 737 factory to move to clean energy

Dec 16, 2014

Boeing said Tuesday it plans to buy renewable energy credits to replace fossil-fuel power at the factory in Washington state where it assembles its 737 commercial airplanes.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.