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):


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


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.


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.


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.


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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