Tokyo Electric shares soar on reactor restart hopes

Bloomberg

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s shares surged on speculation the Liberal Democratic Party’s election victory will pave the way for it to restart reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture, the world’s biggest atomic power facility.

The utility’s stock, which lost more than 90 percent of its value after the meltdown of three reactor cores at its Fukushima No. 1 plant in March last year, jumped 33 percent at the morning close in Tokyo, its daily limit, and was trading at ¥202, the biggest gain since Oct. 11, 2011.

“For Tepco to make a reasonable profit, the restart of reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant is essential,” said Hirofumi Kawachi, an energy analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. “Investors judge the result of Sunday’s election as a big step forward for the restart.”

Only two of Japan’s 50 reactors are operating, as the rest were idled for safety checks in light of the Fukushima disaster. Both are at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture.