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TEPCO will be either taken over or bailed out by the state.
TEPCO probably cannot afford to pay for the liability from widespread radioactive contamination. We're not at the point where a spent fuel pool becomes a dirty bomb, but that cannot be ruled out any longer. In any case, that's probably not insured by private insurers, and who knowsthe extent to which insurance covers the damage so far. It might be that TEPCO has a waiver of liability or an explicit state guarantee. The implicit state guarantee always exists - decommissioning and decontamination must happen it technically possible and so the state will do it as a last resort.

In addition, TEPCO is going to have two write off at least 3 reactor cores due to seawater injections. The entire DaiIchi plant may be out of operation for years. It may never reopen or be expanded to add two new reactors as currently planned. In any case, this is a huge operating loss for TEPCO over and above the cleanup for the current disaster.

Either TEPCO will be bailed out with free money, or it will be split into a good firm and a bad firm with the government taking over the bad firm, or the government will take over the entirety of TEPCO.

A "Tokyo Electric Power Company" must exist as long as Tokyo exists. What needs to die is the idea that an electric utility can be run "for profit" with primary accountability to its shareholders as opposed to "in the public interest".

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:24:36 AM EST
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