Nuclear Decommissioning Costs To Be Passed To All Power Users

Nuclear decommissioning costs to be passed to all power usersThe industry ministry on Wednesday decided that the cost to nuclear plant operators of decommissioning reactors should be passed on to all electricity users in principle even after Japan's electricity market is fully opened to newcomers in 2016.

The controversial scheme is aimed at making sure plant operators can recoup the massive expenses and facilitating the scrapping of aging reactors. Observers, however, say the plan could undermine fair competition by compelling new entrants with no nuclear power generation to share the cost of decommissioning.

The cost is expected to be included as part of the usage fee of power grids, and will be charged by power transmission and distribution companies to be spun off from regional electric companies following the planned opening up of the electricity market.