2 May (NucNet): As part of a recovery plan Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) aims to cut costs by nearly 41 billion US dollars (31 billion euro) over the next decade and restart units at its Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant in 2013.
The operator of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, which was shut down by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has submitted a recovery plan to the government under which the state will inject about $12 billion for a controlling stake in the company. Banks will lend a further $12 billion, and costs will be cut and electricity rates increased.
The seven-unit Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant was struck by an earthquake in July 2007 leading to the automatic, safe shutdown of units 3, 4 and 7. Units 1, 5 and 6 were already shut down at the time of the earthquake for periodic inspections.
Unit 2 was technically undergoing a periodic inspection and start-up operations had just begun, but the unit was also shut down safely.
Tepco restarted units 1, 5, 6 and 7 at the plant after repair of damaged systems and inspections. But these units have since been shut down for planned refuelling and maintenance and not yet restarted following government-mandated safety checks in the wake of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident.
The recovery plan, which has been under discussion since January, aims to ensure Tepco can pay compensation for victims of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident and of decommissioning its reactors and fuel ponds.
In return for injecting $12 billion, the government will take an initial stake of 50.1 percent in Tepco along with rights to a further one-sixth of the company’s shares that it can exercise later if it deems necessary.
The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) said Tepco hopes to return to the black by March 2015. The recovery plan needs to be approved by the industry minister, JAIF said.