Japan to provide $12.6 billion to Tepco, operator of tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant

Japanese governement takes control of TEPCO effecticvely nationalizing the failing energy giant. Once again, this proves the tremendous financial risk posed by nuclear liability to everyone. The cost of the Fukushima accident is one no-one can afford. The ramifications: financial, environmental, and in terms of public health danger will effect much of the world in at least some part, before the accident is over. Judging by the effects of Chernobyl, which still haunt Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and much of Europe, it is becoming more clear that nuclear accidents of this scale never really end.

Washington Post l Chico Harlan  9 May 2012

TOKYO — Japan’s government on Wednesday approved a 1 trillion-yen, or $12.6 billion, bailout for the operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, putting the giant utility under temporary state control as it continues to deal with the extensive damage at the facility.

The move, which had been widely expected, will prevent the Tokyo Electric Power Co., known as Tepco, from collapsing. With the newly authorized public funds, the company can decommission the stricken reactors at the plant on Japan’s northeastern coast, pay compensation to the tens of thousands of people who fled as radiation spread and provide electricity to its 45 million customers.

The bailout also gives the government a majority share of the former monopoly, a change that will formally take place after Tepco’s annual shareholders meeting next month, according to the Kyodo news agency. Tepco will be forced to follow a restructuring plan that includes electricity rate increases, management changes and $41.4 billion in cost-cutting measures over the next decade.

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Nuclear Power is not the Answer