December 27, 2011- The Tokyo Electric Power Company asked the Japanese government for an additional $9 billion to help compensate victims of last March’s nuclear crisis. Tepco has already been given over $7 billion by the government.
The damaged Fukushina Daiichi nuclear plant is controlled by Tepco and the company faces over $100 billion in claims for compensation. The March tsunami extensively damaged the plant and over 80,000 residents nearby had to be evacuated following a leak in radiation.
Tepco is the biggest provider of utilities in Japan, supplying one third of all the power in the country, and faces an uncertain future due to the radiation leak that occurred in March. It announced last week that it would be raising the price of electricity for its corporate clients. The increase is the first in over 30 years for the corporate sector.
The company has had to rely on thermal power plants as the March earthquake and subsequent tsunami forced the power company to close all but two of its nuclear plants. Thus, its fuel costs have skyrocketed of late.
To add insult to injury, the company was chastised by a panel that investigated the nuclear disaster. The panel said Tepco was not prepared for a nuclear disaster, its response to the disaster was bad and its’ lack of preparation worsened the nuclear disaster’s effects.