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Utilities asked by shareholders to abandon nuclear energy

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Protesters including shareholders hold up signs criticizing Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives in front of the Yoyogi First Gymnasium where the utility held its annual shareholders’ meeting on June 28.

Shareholders call on utilities to abandon nuclear energy

Japan’s nine major electric power companies faced renewed calls to end their dependence on nuclear energy at their annual shareholders’ meetings on June 28.

However, as such proposals require approval by a two-thirds majority of shareholders with voting rights for passage, all were expected to be rejected.

A total of 73 motions from shareholders were submitted at the meetings of the nine utilities. Many called on the companies to leave nuclear power generation.

But executives again stressed the need for nuclear plants to turn a profit.

At the shareholders’ meeting held by Kyushu Electric Power Co., President Michiaki Uriu said: “We have been able to secure a profit due to the resumption of operations at nuclear plants and a large decrease in fuel costs. We will work toward an early resumption of operations at the Genkai nuclear plant (in Saga Prefecture).”

Kyushu Electric Power resumed operations last year at two reactors of the Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, in southern Kyushu.

Kansai Electric Power Co. also resumed operations at two reactors at the Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture in central Japan this year, but the Otsu District Court issued a temporary injunction to halt them.

“We will make every effort to gain the understanding of society, starting with local residents,” President Makoto Yagi said at the Kansai Electric Power shareholders’ meeting on June 28. “Nuclear plants are an important energy source from the standpoint of economics and environmental issues. We will implement a cut in electricity rates as soon as possible through an early resumption of operations.”

At the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. meeting, President Naomi Hirose said: “We will proceed with measures to allow us to work on the important corporate issue of resuming operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant (in Niigata Prefecture).”

Hirose also apologized for a delay in announcing that meltdowns had occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck in March 2011.

Members of the Nuclear Phase-Out TEPCO Shareholder’s Movement handed out fliers in front of the venue for the TEPCO meeting.

Yui Kimura, 63, a leading member of the group, criticized the revelation about covering up the meltdown at the Fukushima plant.

“TEPCO is trying to resume operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant without taking responsibility for the accident,” Kimura said.

Another shareholder, Fusako Iwata, 66, from Gifu Prefecture, said: “At that time, the public believed without question what the central government and TEPCO said. We will not be deceived again.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606280064.html

Utilities reject shareholders’ call to abandon nuclear power

Japan’s nine major electric power companies shot down renewed proposals calling for them to end their dependence on nuclear energy at their annual shareholders’ meetings on June 28.

The top executives of each utility again stressed the importance of nuclear power and indicated that they plan to resume such operations at their plants as soon as possible.

At the Tokyo Electric Power Co. shareholders’ meeting, President Naomi Hirose apologized for his predecessor’s instruction to employees to avoid using the term “meltdown” during the early phases of the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

I sincerely apologize for causing concerns,” Hirose said in responding to a question from a shareholder. “I promise that we will never impose silence on our employees under any circumstances.”

TEPCO described the condition of the Fukushima reactors as suffering less serious “core damage” for two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.

Seventy-three motions from shareholders were submitted at the meetings of the nine utilities. Many called on the companies to end nuclear power generation.

However, since proposals require approval by a two-thirds majority of the voting rights of participating shareholders for passage, all were rejected.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606290039.html

June 29, 2016 - Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , ,

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