TEPCO mulls more spending to ensure safety of Niigata nuclear plant
TOKYO, March 15 (Kyodo) — Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering spending tens of billions of yen more to ensure the safety of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant on Japan's northwest coast, which it is aiming to restart in fiscal 2013, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.
The utility's total spending on safety measures for facilities at the world's biggest nuclear power plant could grow to over 100 billion yen as it pledged to spend around 70 billion yen after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled its Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Despite facing funding problems, the company, known as TEPCO, plans to bolster safety measures with the aim of resuming operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture at an early date, according to the sources.
TEPCO is expected to report a massive net loss for the third consecutive year for fiscal 2012 through March. It expects the burden of fuel costs to continue growing if it has to operate thermal power plants without being able to restart nuclear reactors.
TEPCO is planning to install vent facilities, having so far spent considerable time and resources on countermeasures against tsunami, including the construction of seawalls, the sources said.