The LDP has hatched a new scheme to solve all of their inconvenient nuclear problems. TEPCO and all the other utility companies in Japan that have reactors would dump them all into a single new company with a partial ownership by the Japanese government. This would put the government (and taxpayers) directly in financial risk for this risky scheme. The idea would potentially allow the utilities to sell their reactors or move them into this new company, sheltering the utility from liability in another nuclear disaster.
The new company would pay into covering the costs at Fukushima Daiichi and also compensation to victims of the nuclear disaster. But only if this new company turned a profit. If they failed to do so taxpayers would continue to shoulder the costs for the disaster and potentially for losses within this company. The entire thing is a scary concept that appears to allow the government and nuclear industry more and more off the hook for responsibility with more of the risk going to taxpayers. Taxpayers who in poll after poll are strongly against nuclear power.
So why would the LDP present such a bad idea? TEPCO appears to be in even worse condition than admitted. TEPCO has been selling off more assets to reach their downsizing goal and generate cash. This week they sold a technology company to Hitachi. They received even more bad news as the NRA made almost brutal comments about TEPCO’s incompetence in response to a recent report. TEPCO was required to show the NRA how they are responsibly handling both the Fukushima nuclear sites and their Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant. The head of the NRA called TEPCO’s report “unconvincing” and the commentary appeared to almost close the door on TEPCO being allowed to ever run another nuclear plant again. Most people would consider that a good thing.
This reality along with TEPCO hemorrhaging cash while being unable to resolve problems at Fukushima Daiichi has put the poorly thought out government plan to rehabilitate TEPCO without many options.
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