TOKYO-A sweeping new plan that will provide for a decades-long Fukushima cleanup, compensate victims, and put Tokyo's electric utility on a solid financial footing was announced by the Tokyo Electric Power Company on January 15.
The plan was assembled by TEPCO and Japan's government, with the cooperation of a consortium of financial institutions that will provide credit and liquidity over the next several years. It calls for ultimately returning TEPCO to the private capital markets, easing the burden on Japan's taxpayers, while boosting compensation to victims of the March 2011 disaster and bolstering cleanup efforts.
It also calls for creation of a new entity within TEPCO that will be exclusively focused on the Fukushima decommissioning and decontamination activity. The unit will incorporate experts from outside the company, including international experts.
"This plan is a truly national, and in some ways international, effort that will address the human, environmental, and economic challenges that lie ahead," said TEPCO President Naomi Hirose. "The plan provides for a better future for the people of Fukushima, a durable structure for the decommissioning work, and a path to financial independence for our company so that we can continue to serve the people of Japan while minimizing the burden on the public."
TEPCO needs long-term growth to continuously generate resources for fulfilling its responsibility in Fukushima. TEPCO itself will cut 1.4 trillion yen additionally in expenses and invest 750 billion yen over 10 years. The plan also calls for financial institutions to provide 2 trillion yen in credit to support investment for long-term growth. The plan will provide TEPCO with a holding company structure in April 2016 that will enable TEPCO to address both responsibility in Fukushima and competitiveness to survive in the fully liberalized electricity market.
As part of the plan, TEPCO pledges to ensure that every eligible individual will receive compensation "down to the last person," with total compensation exceeding 5 trillion yen. It also pledges to make the compensation accurately and promptly, and to defer to the decisions of mediators.
At the Fukushima Daiichi plant itself, which was crippled by a tsunami following the March 2011 earthquake, the plan calls for additional resources and major improvements in water management, including cleaning of all contaminated water (except Tritium) within the next fiscal year. And it sets an ambitious goal of removing the nuclear fuel debris from at least one of damaged reactors by the first half of 2020. The plan incorporates the company's recently announced decision to turn undamaged units 5 and 6 into research centers that will enhance the ability to proceed with the cleanup and add to the overall decommissioning capabilities of the new entity.
President Hirose's comment for the release of the plan may be seen at http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/overview/individual02-e.html
TEPCO, Inc. is a provider of electricity to the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo and Yokohama. The company is headquartered in Tokyo. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was struck by a tsunami after an earthquake that occurred in March 2011. For more information, please go to