Tepco shares rise sharply on reports of planned break-up and nationalisation

Tepco shares rose almost 20% today as reports on Sunday described government plans to break-up the Japanese utility and to nationalise its nuclear plant assets.

Market Watch:

 

Senior members of Japan’s government have been involved in secret plans to break up the operator of the beleaguered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to reports. 

The plan would see the nuclear operations of Tokyo Electric Power Co. JP:9501 +19.82%  come under government control, said Reuters, citing a report Sunday in a local paper.

The plan has been devised by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, said Reuters, citing the Mainichi daily. The newspaper said its information was from unnamed sources.

As well as nationalizing the nuclear business, the plan would see Tepco sell its power distribution business, said Reuters. Power-generation operations that use thermal and hydraulic power plants would remain as the company’s business. 

The plan would shred Tepco’s size, according to the reports, leaving it with 1.6 trillion yen ($19.8 billion) in power industry assets compared to its current 7 trillion yen.

The reports state that Sengoku has met several times with Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, and has informed Katsumata about the plans.

Also Sunday, The Wall Street Journal said the company has restarted the use of contaminated water to cool the reactor cores at Fukushima, one week after an initial attempt was suspended because of leaks. Tepco is hoping to achieve a cold shutdown, lowering the fuel rods’ temperature to below 100 degrees Celsius, by January.

Related:

https://ktwop.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/tepco-leadership-in-disarray-as-share-price-drops-to-47-year-low-and-government-considers-nationalisation/

https://ktwop.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/tepco-stocks-are-on-their-way-to-losing-all-value/

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