Japan’s Tepco Predicts Increased Nuclear
Share Following Fiscal 2003
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) says that while nuclear plant
suspensions contributed to the rise in fuel costs for thermal
power generation last year, those costs are expected to fall –
through an increase in the share of electricity generated by nuclear
power – the company reported in its recently released financial
results for fiscal year 2003.
Those suspensions of nuclear plant operations in the spring of
2003 followed allegations concerning the falsification of inspection
records (see Business News No. 22.2, 15th April 2003). Tepco’s
17 reactors units – six at the Fukushima I nuclear power
plant, four at Fukushima II and seven at Kashiwazaki Kariwa –
began returning to service soon afterward (see News No. 170, 16th
May 2003). As of 30th April, 12 of the Tepco units were operational.
According to the operating records of Japanese nuclear power plants
in May, Tepco’s Fukushima I-1, Fukushima I-6, Fukushima
ll-2, Fukushima ll-4 and Kashiwazaki Kariwa-2 remain shutdown
due to periodic inspection.
In the fiscal 2003 results, Tepco reported a net income of 149.5
billion Japanese yen (JPY) (1.37 billion US dollars), representing
a 9.5% decline from the previous fiscal year (see Business News
No. 29, 29th May 2003). Tepco’s volume of electric power
sold during fiscal 2003 also declined from fiscal 2002 due to
decreases in air-conditioning demand caused by an unusually cool
summer and mild winter, as well as to the sluggish demand for
industrial use caused by a slump in production activities. The
total electricity sold by Tepco fell by 2.1% from the previous
year to 276 terawatt hours (TWh).
On expenses, the company said that while: “Suspensions
of nuclear power plants continuing into fiscal 2003 sharply pushed
up the fuel costs for thermal power generation, on the other hand
Tepco worked hard to further improve efficiency and cut costs
across the entire range of operations … (and) Tepco was
able to reduce ordinary expenses by 2.1% from the preceding year
to JPY 4.57 billion.”
Looking ahead, the fiscal 2003 report reads that despite the
anticipated increase in nuclear-related repair expenses and the
heavier burden caused by an advance on the price of crude oil,
Tepco estimates that electric power sales will increase by 2.2%
and that the company expects to register a net income of JPY 265
billion in fiscal 2004. The report concludes: “Tepco expects
to achieve these figures on the basis of an estimated reduction
in fuel costs resulting from an increase in the share of electricity
generated by nuclear power, and by continuing to promote comprehensive
measures to improve efficiency and reduce costs.”
An English-language summary of Tepco’s financial results
for fiscal 2003 is available through the company’s website
Source: Tepco / Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF)
Editor: Daniel MacIsaac
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Civic Leaders Promote New Dutch Research Reactor
The local council in the Dutch municipality of
Zijpe - home of Europe's Petten research reactor - is urging that
a replacement be built when the current reactor reaches the end
of its operational lifetime in around 2015.
The council expressed its support for a replacement for the European
Commission-owned high flux reactor in a meeting called to discuss
prospects for the municipality - details of which were reported
in the 8th
July edition of one of the biggest regional newspapers in The
Netherlands, the "Noordhollands Dagblad".
Last year, an independent study by a Dutch government committee
showed that a halt in operation of the Petten reactor of more
than a month would lead to shortages of at least two medical isotopes,
"affecting patients all over Europe".
Source: Noordhollands Dagblad / Various
Full report: NucNet News in Brief No.8, 12th July