Shareholders preparing protests

Kyodo

Six of the country’s nine electric power companies with atomic plants are facing the prospect of “denuclearization” motions being called at their shareholders’ meetings Tuesday and Wednesday amid growing public safety fears.

None of the motions is expected to be approved because most are being proposed by individuals who won’t be able to muster the two-thirds voting majority needed to change the articles of incorporation in their favor.

But if enough votes are cast against nuclear power, the utilities may come under pressure to rethink their atomic power operations in light of the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Hisataka Yamasaki, a Tepco shareholder who has proposed the initiative for roughly 15 years, said that while only 3 to 4 percent of the utility’s shareholders vote for it each year, “the percentage should be much higher this year.”

The other five utilities facing the motions are Tohoku Electric, Chubu Electric, Kansai Electric, Chugoku Electric and Kyushu Electric.

In letters sent to shareholders, all six utilities expressed opposition to the motions, which variously call for abandoning nuclear power, withdrawing from nuclear power and switching to natural energy sources.