No one knows what will happen to Tepco in the future. We don’t even know whether the company will remain a private company or will the government take it over.Fujimaki Japan’s Takeshi Fujimaki • Explaining why Tepco’s stock went down significantly today — at one point as far as 28 percent — after a financial report that suggested the company was in very bad shape. Simply put, many investors don’t think Tepco is long for this world as a private company and will need significant help from Japan to survive. The company could face $7 billion in losses for the current fiscal year — already on top of $15 billion lost in the prior fiscal year, which ended in March. That’s before any compensation costs are taken into account, by the way. Investors are betting on bankruptcy and/or public-sector takeover. source (via • follow)
» That’s $18 billion dollars, guys: While many parts of Japan struggle to recover from March’s earthquake, TEPCO’s financial loss — part of the reason the company’s president, Masataka Shimizum, likely plans to step down —would be downright dramatic. When it announces earnings today, the loss could be absolutely insane. But it wouldn’t be a record. That dubious honor goes to Mizuho Financial Group, which lost ¥2.38 trillion ($20.3 billion) in a single fiscal year back in 2003. Meanwhile, TEPCO struggles with power outages, a nuclear meltdown, and huge radiation-related claims that could top ¥11 trillion ($134 billion). These factors combined — which won’t be one-time payments — may force Japan to take the power company over.
Examining doctor Takeshi Tanigawa says the workers could risk death. The doctor, who checked the beleaguered workers recently, has said the personal responsibility they feel to halt the crisis, along with terrible sanitation, little food, little sleep, and pressure from their families not to continue is causing extreme levels of stress, and could lead to depression or death from overwork. That’s all without mentioning the high level of radiation, which is extremely deleterious to health on its own. Tanigawa says TEPCO should mobilize all their employees and give these most dedicated workers a break: “Employees engaged in the dangerous work have human rights and wives and children just like others. We should not treat their lives without due respect.” source
» Raising money by cutting jobs? While Company President Masataka Shimizu didn’t speculate on what the final amount might be, he did point out a possible way to pay for said payments to local residents. They’re looking at cutting jobs to streamline operations and pay the people affected by the accident. ”We must pursue rationalization that regards nothing as sacred,” he said. “We will make utmost efforts to raise funds.” Now, maybe we’re wrong here, but doesn’t it seem weird to cut employees after a massive disaster that had at least some root in safety issues?
Don’t consider the situation at Fukushima settled just yet. That’s the message that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, in his first statements on the matter in over a week, would like to make clear. ”We are making efforts to prevent it from getting worse, but I feel we cannot become complacent,” he said. “We must continue to be on our guard.” Kan’s comments come in the wake of high instability at some of the plants — yesterday, two workers got radiation burns on their feet while working on Fukushima’s No. 3 unit, which is the most dangerous of the bunch due to its use of a mixture of uranium and plutonium. The situation led to fresh concerns about whether there might be a leak in that reactor. TEPCO officials are still looking for the cause of the high radiation levels. source