Government disinclined to prod Tepco into bankruptcy: Abe


The government will not force Tokyo Electric Power Co. into bankruptcy despite the massive costs it faces because of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant meltdown disaster, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated Thursday.

Tepco “should steadily implement compensation, scrap (the crippled) reactors, deal with the accumulation of toxic water (at the plant) and ensure a stable electricity supply as it continues to operate as a private company,” Abe told the House of Representatives plenary session.

He made the comments when two opposition party leaders urged him to liquidate the utility, which is already under government control.

Tepco’s earnings have deteriorated due largely to rising fuel costs as it has boosted thermal power generation to cover the loss of atomic power in the wake of the nationwide reactor shutdowns amid safety fears stemming from the Fukushima No. 1 calamity.

The company has been also forced to pay for decontamination work in fallout-hit areas and for stabilizing and ultimately scrapping the Fukushima reactors that suffered meltdowns.