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TEPCO turnaround hinges on nuclear plant restart (Japan News)

An envisioned turnaround of Tokyo Electric Power Co. hinges on the restart of a nuclear power plant for which the firm has failed to gain consent from local authorities.

A special rehabilitation plan submitted Friday envisions that TEPCO will swing back to a recurring profit of about ¥100 billion in fiscal 2014 if the firm can restart reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant in Niigata Prefecture from July 2014.

The plant’s restart will help TEPCO slash fuel costs, which nearly doubled to ¥2.79 trillion in fiscal 2012 from fiscal 2010.

In fiscal 2013, the costs have stayed high as all the firm’s reactors have remained halted following the nuclear accident at its Fukushima No. 1 power plant in March 2011.

To help offset the fuel cost increase, TEPCO has slashed jobs and taken other rationalization measures.

Personnel costs for fiscal 2012 fell about 20 percent from the fiscal 2010 level to ¥345.8 billion.

But a TEPCO executive said, “No matter how many restructuring measures we take, we cannot achieve a turnaround unless we trim fuel costs.”

TEPCO has applied for Nuclear Regulation Authority safety checks for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station’s Nos. 6 and 7 reactors, which have an output capacity of 1.35 million kilowatts each, aiming to restart both in July 2014.

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