Aside from being the operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is also the operator of the world’s largest nuclear power facility at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. Recently, TEPCO and the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund (NDF) have decided to outline a comprehensive special business plan in which the beleaguered utility will be able to restart all of the seven reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant by around fiscal 2016 to improve its earnings.
Under the newly revised business plan, TEPCO will issue corporate bonds to stabilize its cash flow. If there are prospects for the restoration of the utility’s finances and if the NDF makes profits from selling its holdings of TEPCO shares, the fund will consider setting aside an amount to reduce TEPCO’s debts. Nevertheless, there is still no guarantee that the rehabilitation scenario – including the early restart of the reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa – will be executed as planned. The plan shows that TEPCO should aim to restart the No. 6 and 7 reactors, on which the Nuclear Regulation Authority has been conducting safety assessments, in July 2014. The utility anticipates about 100 billion yen in current account surplus in fiscal 2014 by reducing fuel costs for thermal power generation. While restarting the No. 1 and 5 reactors in the spring of 2015, the utility plans to restart the remaining three reactors by fiscal 2016, when power retailing will be fully liberalized. In doing so, the utility intends to steadily secure current account surplus of 100 billion to 200 billion yen.
And as a part of its huge restructuring due to the costs incurred by the decades-long decommissioning of the Fukushima facility, TEPCO will shut down all of its 10 branch offices and accepting voluntary retirement from about 1,000 employees. The company intends to spin-off the Fukushima cleanup process into a separate company and turn itself into a holding company in fiscal 2016. The new business plan will be submitted to the minister of economy, trade and industry at the end of this year, and the government is to approve it as early as the beginning of next year.
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