JP Gov estimates Tepco to take 42 more years to compensate

JP Gov estimates Tepco to take 42 more years to compensate

(Photo: Storage building of residuals from the contaminated water (6.2022) [URL])


The Board of Audit of Japan has estimated that it will take until fiscal year 2064 to recover the funds lent to TEPCO for compensation for the Fukushima nuclear accident. Four years ago, the Board of Audit estimated that the maximum period would be until fiscal 2051, but this time it has been extended by 13 years. There is still room for the amount of compensation TEPCO will pay to the victims and others to increase, and the Board has pointed out that “the timing of the completion of recovery may be extended even further in the future than this trial calculation.”

TEPCO has paid compensation for victims and the cost of decontamination work. In order to financially support this company, the government borrows funds from private financial institutions and issues government bonds to provide funds to TEPCO through the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation. The organization is proceeding with de facto repayment by paying “general contributions” from TEPCO and other electric power companies to the government.

According to the Board of Audit, 13.5 trillion yen (97B USD) in government bonds have been issued to support TEPCO so far, and about 8 trillion yen (58B USD) has not been returned to the government by the agency. In addition to the general contribution, the agency uses “special contribution from TEPCO” and “profit on sale of TEPCO shares by the agency” as the source of funds for the return.

Nevertheless, TEPCO’s financial situation and stock price have not improved as planned, and in the worst scenario by this moment, it would take another 42 years until 2064 to recover the full amount.

Next spring, it is planned that contaminated water from decommissioning work will begin to be discharged into the Pacific, which is anticipated to increase the amount of compensation. In addition, since the amount of compensation determined in lawsuits filed by victims and evacuees across the country already exceeds the expected line by the government guidelines, the amount of compensation is likely to increase even further if the guidelines are updated.

For this reason, the Board of Audit stated, “If Tepco ends up making more loans from the government due to the increasing compensation liability, the burden on the people will also increase.”

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