Fukushima Operator Readies New Restructuring Plan

Fukushima Operator Readies New Restructuring Plan

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Tokyo Electric Power Wednesday submitted a fresh restructuring plan to a Japanese government-backed fund that envisages the creation of a special unit to dismantle the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

TEPCO president Naomi Hirose pledged thorough implementation of the plan, once approved by the government as expected next month.

The utility's board Tuesday approved a draft plan that would see the creation of a holding company with several sub-units dedicated to separate tasks, including one that would be solely responsible for decommissioning the battered reactors.

The plan, which includes a cost-cutting round of early retirements, assumes the giant utility will be allowed to restart some of its idled nuclear reactors, AFP reporetd.

Supporters say this is necessary to reduce the inflated fuel bills caused by the switch back to fossil fuels in the aftermath of the disaster in March 2011.

"As the government takes a step forward (to help TEPCO), Tokyo Electric wished to demonstrate that we are taking three steps and four steps forward," Hirose told reporters of the plan, according to national broadcaster NHK.

TEPCO submitted the plan to the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund, which gave its broad approval.

The utility and the fund will jointly submit the plan to the government next month for formal approval.

The government on Tuesday approved a budget for fiscal 2014 which includes measures to help TEPCO, such as earmarking 101.2 billion yen ($1 billion) to pay for facilities to store radioactive waste.

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