Tepco to delay restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Japan

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has announced that it will not be able to restart the reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant soon.

Tepco president Naomi Hirose was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying, “If we don’t get back in the black, we would no longer exist as we are.We will use all possible means to achieve that.”

The owner of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tepco, in summer 2012 proposed a plan to streamline operations in exchange for government approval of a rate increase and public cash to remain afloat.

As part of the plan, one of Tepco’s seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in northwestern Niigata prefecture was supposed to restart in April 2013, after which the other six reactors were to restart over 17 months.

On Monday, Hirose noted that Tepco will not seek additional government funds.

The company has already received $20bn to compensate those affected by the 2011 Fukushima accident.

Most of Japan’s utilities have kept most reactors offline because of public concerns over safety as an aftermath of the Fukushima accident, while only two of Japan’s 50 reactors are currently operating.