Tepco customers have paid ¥2.4 trillion to cover nuclear power-related costs since 2012 rate hike

JIJI

Customers of Tokyo Electric have paid over ¥2.4 trillion to cover nuclear-related costs since the beleaguered utility hiked electricity prices in September 2012, it has been learned.

The amount covers the costs of clerical work for processing applications for compensation related to the Fukushima disaster, totaling ¥25.9 billion, as well as ¥56.7 billion set aside as resources to repay the government for compensation paid on its behalf, and ¥41.4 billion in depreciation costs for two reactors at Fukushima No. 1 that were decommissioned, and for all four reactors at the Fukushima No. 2 plant, which Fukushima Prefecture and others want decommissioned.

The costs also include those to maintain its nuclear plants and to deal with the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

According to materials held by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the utility counted ¥601.4 billion in annual nuclear-related expenses as part of its overall costs when it raised electricity prices.

The expenses for nuclear power operations include ¥47.2 billion for measures related to Fukushima No. 1, including outsourcing radiation control-related work and inspecting and maintaining equipment to handle radioactive water.

The nuclear-related costs are expected to keep growing because Tokyo Electric has been unable to restart any reactors. When it raised prices in September 2012, the utility assumed that the ratio of nuclear power to its overall electricity supply would fall to 7 percent from 22 percent.

Tepco plans to restart two reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture, but this plan also may fail because Niigata’s new governor, elected in October, opposes restarts.

The Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry plans to have Tepco customers who have since switched to other utilities shoulder part of Tepco’s nuclear-related costs starting as early as fiscal 2020.