Japanese govt plans big nuclear power restart, to save TEPCO from bankruptcy
Tepco’s Plans Restart of World’s Biggest Nuclear Plant, Bloomberg News By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada June 28, 2012 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), owner of the crippled Fukushima reactors, is committed to restarting another nuclear plant next year that is the world’s largest and itself was damaged in a 2007 earthquake.
Bringing the Kashiwazaki Kariwa power station online, even though it sets up the state-controlled utility for further conflicts with a nuclear-weary public, is part of “Plan A,” President Naomi Hirose, 59, said in an interview. The plan refers to a 10-year business reconstruction that handed control of the power company known as Tepco to Japan’s government. “We have no choice right now but to do our bestto carry out Plan A,” Hirose said on June 18. “We don’t have a Plan B.”
Tepco’s decision runs counter to polls showing the majority of Japanese want less reliance on atomic power after meltdowns at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors last year. The radiation release and cost to the public of as much as $138 billion sparked anti-nuclear sentiment across the world. In Japan, all 50 reactors, including the seven at Kashiwazaki Kariwa, have been required to pass so-called stress tests introduced to improve safety after the Fukushima
disaster. Only two near the western city of Osaka have won permission
to resume operations, leaving 48 offline.
“Tepco’s plan is only wishful thinking” because no more reactors are likely to be approved this year, said Tomoko Murakami, a Tokyo-based nuclear analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. “Without the restart, there is not much hope to revive the company.”…… http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-06-27/tepco-s-new-chief-sees-no-plan-b-to-revive-profitability
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