Saturday, March 9, 2013
Nuclear Fuel Reprocessor May Refund Y40bn To Japan Atomic Power
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. will consider temporarily refunding nearly 40 billion yen previously received from the now-struggling Japan Atomic Power Co. for a reprocessing plant.
Japan Atomic Power and nine regional utilities hold stakes in Japan Nuclear Fuel, which is building the plant. They have prepaid 1.1 trillion yen to Japan Nuclear Fuel for construction and reprocessing expenses.
But with Japan Atomic Power facing a shortage of funds as its three reactors remain idle, Japan Nuclear Fuel aims to help by returning most of what it received.
Other proposals included having Japan Atomic Power sell shares in Japan Nuclear Fuel to the other utilities to generate much-needed funds. But those firms are in the red themselves, making such purchases infeasible.
The proposed refund would be a stopgap measure, with only a limited impact on Japan Atomic Power's finances in the long run.
Consequently, Japan Atomic Power will consider such steps as selling a portion of its uranium fuel and real estate holdings, as well as cutting workers' pay about 5% from April. It also aims to free up funds by deferring safety measures and repairs at its nuclear plants.
Japan Atomic Power's stakeholders include nine power companies and Electric Power Development Co. (9513). It sells electricity to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), Kansai Electric Power Co. (9503), Chubu Electric Power Co. (9502), Tohoku Electric Power Co. (9506) and Hokuriku Electric Power Co. (9505).
But the Nuclear Regulation Authority has cited the possibility of an active fault line running directly beneath the No. 2 reactor at Japan Atomic Power Co.'s Tsuruga plant in Fukui Prefecture. As prospects for restarting the reactor diminish, the firm risks an erosion of its finances.
(The Nikkei, March 9 morning edition)