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TEPCO Can't Keep Up with Costs of Its Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima

Corporate utility looks for increased public funding yet again

- Jon Queally, staff writer

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the now infamous Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan admitted Thursday that it does not have enough funds make payments related to the disaster that continues to plague the communities in and around where the meltdown took place in early 2011.

An aerial view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is seen in Fukushima Prefecture in this photo taken by the Air Photo Service in this March 24, 2011 file photo. Nearly two years after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan is failing to keep a pledge to tap global expertise to decommission its crippled reactors, executives at nuclear contractors from the United States and Europe say. (Photo: Handout) Now, the public-private fund set up to bail out the corporation will have to decide if it will increase payments to the company in order to meet what it says are bigger than estimated costs. This is the third time TEPCO has increased its estimate for funds.

As Agence France-Presse reports:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it had newly estimated the compensation costs at 3.24 trillion yen ($38 billion), up 697 billion yen from its last calculation in March.

The utility has increased the estimate three times since it originally put the sum at 1.1 trillion yen in October last year, seven months after a massive earthquake and tsunami sparked reactor meltdowns at the plant, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

TEPCO said it had already received about 1.5 trillion yen in such aid.

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