TEPCO Wants To Raise Utility Rates To Pay For Fukushima

TEPCO to Raise Utility Charges for Households to Pay for Decommissioning #Fukushima Reactors (EX-SKF, April 27, 2012):

The company wants to raise the utility charges by 700 yen (US$8.70) per average household whose utility bill is 6,973 yen per month. If the national government approves, the rate hike will be effective in July.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (4/28/2012):

東電、廃炉費支援を要請…家庭700円値上げ

TEPCO requests support for decommissioning costs, raising the utility charges for households by 700 yen

東京電力は27日、政府による資金支援の前提となるコスト削減策を盛り込んだ総合特別事業計画を枝野経済産業相に提出した。

On April 27, TEPCO submitted the Special Business Plan to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano including cost-cutting measures, which are prerequisite for the financial support from the national government.

福島第一原子力発電所の廃炉と除染の費用について政府に資金支援を要請している。数兆円規模とみられる追加費用を東電単独で負担するのは困難と判断した。

TEPCO is requesting the government assistance for the decommissioning and decontamination of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The company has determined that it would be difficult to bear the additional cost of several trillion yen on its own.

計画には、7月から家庭向け電気料金で「10%の前半」の値上げ方針も盛り込まれた。政府が認可すれば、標準家庭の月額の電気料金(6月分、6973円)が700円程度上がる。7月の料金値上げ後に公的資金による増資が行われ、事実上国有化される。

The plan includes the rate hike for the utility charges for households starting July, by “slightly over 10%”. If the government approves it, the monthly utility charges for the average household (6973 yen for the month of June) will rise by 700 yen. After the rate hike in July, the government will inject capital using public money, effectively nationalizing the company.

政府は賠償支払いについて現時点で累計2兆5462億円の資金支援を計画している。だが、廃炉費用は支援対象ではなく、東電負担が原則だ。除染費用も含め、東電が数兆円単位で追加負担することになれば債務超過に陥りかねない。

The government currently plans to support TEPCO on disaster compensation payments with 2.5462 trillion yen [US$31.6 billion], but the decommissioning of the reactors is not part of the support and has to be borne by TEPCO. The additional burden of several trillion yen [for decommissioning and decontamination] on TEPCO might render the company insolvent.

So the work that still continues at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is not supported by the national government, and the TEPCO household customers in Kanto region will have to pick up the tab so that TEPCO can continue the work. Something’s not right. But then, the national government is broke to the tune of the debt to GDP ratio of 240% (the US just passed 100% mark at the end of March by the way), and any money coming out of the government will be taken from the taxpayers anyway, whether it’s for disaster compensation or decommissioning.So much for clean and cheap energy that was nuclear.

And US$31.6 billion worth of money from the government for disaster compensation? Peanuts. The US Treasury Department raises that kind of amount in one single treasury auction.

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