The government is considering staying involved in Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s business management longer than currently planned, given larger-than-expected costs for scrapping the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, sources close to the matter said Saturday.
A delay in the process for reactivating its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, a main pillar of the utility’s reconstruction plan, is another factor prompting the government to think it would be too soon to end state control next April as initially planned, they said.
The government is leading business operations of the utility facing huge compensation payments and other problems from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster as it has acquired 50.1 percent of the firm’s voting rights through the state-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp.
Some bureaucrats of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are dispatched to the utility, known as TEPCO.
TEPCO said in a business plan in 2014 it would turn itself from the “temporarily publicly managed” company to a self-managed one starting next April.
The industry ministry will hold the first panel meeting Wednesday to discuss additional government support for the utility.
TEPCO faces swelling costs for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant and compensating those affected beyond the previously estimated 11 trillion yen ($108 billion). Two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are under prolonged safety examinations by nuclear regulators.
TEPCO’s new business plan including the revised schedule for ending state control is expected to be compiled next January.