Financial assistance approved to restart Tokai Daini Nuclear Power Plant in Tochigi Prefecture (TEPCO and Japan Atomic Power Company)

Fukushima Today

In October 2019, TEPCO announced that it would provide financial assistance to the Japan Atomic Power Company for its Tokai Daini Nuclear Power Plant (Tochigi Prefecture). TEPCO’s assistance is expected at about 220 billion yen. Tohoku Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co., and Kansai Electric Power Co. are also expected to participate, bringing the total financial assistance to 350 billion yen. TEPCO and Tohoku Electric Power Co. will reportedly provide financial assistance as well as loan guarantees.

The entire nuclear power industry was drawn into this assistance scheme because Japan Atomic Power Co. does not have the financial resources to pay for safety upgrades that must be completed before it can restart the Tokai Daini plant.

Meanwhile, TEPCO itself does not have the capacity to pay for victim compensation and plant decommissioning after its Fukushima nuclear plant accident, so the government has injected a mountain of public funds and electricity revenues. TEPCO is not in any position to provide financial assistance to other companies. TEPCO asserts that it will make a profit by buying electricity from the Tokai Daini Nuclear Power Plant so that it can make its compensation payments. But electricity from the Tokai Daini nuclear plant will be expensive, considering the financial predicament facing Japan Atomic Power and the fact that none of its other nuclear plants have any clear prospect of operating. Essentially, this scheme defies economic logic in an attempt to rescue Japan’s Nuclear Power Co. and maintain the government’s policy of supporting nuclear power.