Nuclear, Reactors

Second nuclear power operator in Japan asks for bailout

Kyushu Electric Power Co. became Japan’s second nuclear power operator to ask for financial support this week.

Kyushu Electric said it was in talks with the Japan-owned Development Bank of Japan to buy 1 billion yen ($9.6 million) of preferred stock in the company, according to Reuters. Hokkaido Electric Power Co. asked the same bank for a $486 million lifeline on Tuesday. Kyushu said in the article that it estimated a net loss of 125 billion yen ($1.2 billion) for the year ended March 31.

The infusions are necessary as all 48 of Japan’s nuclear reactors remain offline three years after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The reactors must undergo safety checks in order to restart. The shutdowns, coupled with having to import fossil fuels to keep the electricity flowing, have led to a loss of 3.2 trillion yen ($31 billion) at all nine of the country’s publicly traded nuclear operators, the article said.

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