The nation’s 10 power utilities will lose a combined ¥4.4 trillion if all 50 of their commercial nuclear reactors are decommissioned this fiscal year, sources said Monday.
Estimates by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry say that four of the utilities, including Tokyo Electric Power Co., would enter a capital deficit as the decommissioning caused liabilities to exceed assets, the unnamed sources said. Tepco already faces staggering redress costs for the triple meltdown at its Fukushima No. 1 plant and is facing partial nationalization.
Although any decommissioning would take several years —even if a reactor is only being retired — the cost of the government actually dropping atomic power would translate into a ¥4.4 trillion hit on the utilities.
Before the nuclear crisis triggered by human mismanagement and the March 2011 megaquake and tsunami, nuclear power supplied about 30 percent of the nation’s electricity when all reactors were running.
METI’s estimates were compiled at the request of lawmakers of the Democratic Party of Japan, including former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the sources said.
The losses include about ¥3.2 trillion from the depreciation of the reactors’ facilities and nuclear fuel, and about ¥1.2 trillion from “shortages in reserves” due to decommissioning costs, they said.
Tepco, which has 13 reactors excluding the four at Fukushima No. 1 that are defunct, would suffer the biggest loss of ¥1.150 trillion, according to the estimates.
Kepco, which has 11 reactors, would see a loss of ¥631.8 billion, followed by Tohoku Electric Power Co. at ¥497 billion.
Tepco, Tohoku Electric, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co. would enter capital deficit, while the combined assets of the 10 would fall 75 percent to ¥1.463 trillion.