Tokyo Governor calls for stable power supply

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Tokyo Governor calls for stable power supply

The shareholders meeting of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. took place on June 28 at Koto Ward. Shiki Iwasawa Calls for a stable power supply erupted at electric utilities shareholders' meetings across Japan on June 28 at a time when consumers have been asked to cut energy usage because of the simmering heat.

Just asking consumers to cut energy use to ride out of the power crisis is not the way a utility is supposed to be run, said Yuriko Koike, Tokyo Governor.

Some shareholders angry that nuclear plants will be brought back online soon because they believe the facilities will provide stable power and help the bottom lines of electric power companies.

In Tokyo, Koike proposed at the shareholders' meeting of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. that it add an article ensuring a stable supply of power.

She said at the session in Tokyo's Koto Ward that your company has issued a series of advisories warning about the tight electricity supply.

The metropolitan government is a stockholder of TEPCO.

Other shareholders expressed concerns about a possible electricity cutoff during discussions of other issues, and the proposal was voted down.

The challenge facing the company to achieve both decarbonization and stable power supply was addressed by TEPCO Holdings President Tomoaki Kobayakawa.

He said it is a formidable challenge to tackle.

The power crunch was caused by TEPCO's decommissioning or suspending operations at its thermal power plants over the past years to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

That has rekindled calls for nuclear plants to be restarted to fill in the shortfall in power supply.

The central government is pushing for nuclear plants to be restarted, saying they should be used to the maximum extent.

At Chubu Electric Power Co.'s meeting, a shareholder expressed frustration that the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture has remained idle for more than 10 years.

If the plant had been brought back online, consumers' concerns about power shortages might have been eased, the person said. A surge in fossil fuel prices could have been avoided as a result of a spike in electricity rates. The central government asked Chubu Electric to shut down the plant after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 because it is located in an area where an offshore megaquake is predicted to occur within the next few decades.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has been looking at the plant's safeguard measures over the past several years.

At the shareholders meeting, a shareholder of Chugoku Electric Power Co. raised concerns about the facility's safety and economic efficiency because local governments hosted the Shimane nuclear plant in Shimane Prefecture gave consent for a restart.

Chugoku Electric President Natsuhiko Takimoto vowed to do everything possible to make use of the plant.

A shareholder at Kyushu Electric Power Co. pointed out the potential danger of a nuclear facility, noting Russian forces attacked a Ukrainian nuclear plant in its invasion of the country.

At a news conference after the shareholders meeting, Kyushu Electric President Kazuhiro Ikebe defended the nation's reliance on nuclear power.

Nuclear energy can play a big role when power supplies are tight, he said.