Utilities reject shareholders’ calls for nuclear power phase-out

hgjhlkmù.jpgAnti-nuclear demonstrators gather in front of the venue hosting Kansai Electric Power Co.’s annual meeting as shareholders of the company head to the site in Kobe’s Chuo Ward on June 28.

 

Japan’s eight major nuclear power plant operators rejected all proposals from their shareholders to abolish nuclear reactors at their annual meetings on June 28.

The heads of each utilities company emphasized the need for nuclear power generation as a vital energy source, citing the regional nuclear facilities which have gradually resumed operations after their shutdown in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in 2011.

At Kansai Electric Power Co.’s general meeting, the utility dismissed anti-nuclear proposals by major shareholders, including the Osaka and Kyoto city governments.

Kansai Electric brought its Takahama No. 3 and No. 4 reactors in Fukui Prefecture back online in May and June.

Electric power distribution systems which aren’t dependent on nuclear energy should be established,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa urged.

But Kansai Electric President Shigeki Iwane shot back, “Nuclear power plants are essential in terms of environmental issues as well (as financial).”

We will reduce electric rates in August and raise our corporate value, too,” Iwane added.

Meanwhile, one of Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s shareholders asked the company at its meeting whether it plans to pursue either nuclear energy or renewable energy.

A company executive shied away from answering directly and only replied: “Nuclear power generation is a vital electricity source. We would also like to consider renewable energy as a growing business.”

Utilities executives painted a positive picture at the other general shareholders’ meetings.

One from Hokkaido Electric Power Co. said, “As the deregulation of the electric power industry moves forward, it is necessary to resume operations of nuclear power plants as soon as possible to succeed in a competitive industry.”

A Chubu Electric Power Co. executive also said, “Even if safety measures incur costs, they can be recovered once nuclear power plants resume operations.”

Shareholders’ proposals to end nuclear power generation at Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) were also rejected at its annual general shareholders’ meeting on June 23.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201706290042.html

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