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2014年1月17日 (金)

東電新事業計画 今度こそ再建を軌道に乗せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 16, 2014
TEPCO must realize business plan to end N-crisis, speed reconstruction
東電新事業計画 今度こそ再建を軌道に乗せよ(1月16日付・読売社説)

To end the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and accelerate reconstruction efforts of the areas hit by the 2011 disaster, TEPCO’s revised business rehabilitation plan must not end up as “pie in the sky.”
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故収束と復興加速のため、東電再建策を「絵に描いた餅」にしてはならない。

The government has approved TEPCO’s new comprehensive special business plan, by which the utility aims to rebuild its business.
 政府が、東電の経営再建を目指す新たな「総合特別事業計画」を認定した。

TEPCO was forced to drastically revise its original revenue and expenditure plan and add more streamlining programs, because prospects were low for the restart of idle reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture. Their restart was assumed in the initial special plan of May 2012.
 2012年5月の当初計画で想定した東電柏崎刈羽原発(新潟県)の再稼働のメドが立たず、収支計画の抜本的な見直しや合理化策の上積みを迫られた。

The new comprehensive special business plan is based on the premise that four of the seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant will be reactivated during fiscal 2014. Reactivation of one nuclear power reactor can cut the fuel costs of a thermal power station by more than ¥100 billion. A surplus of about ¥100 billion is expected to be secured for a year, according to the projection.
 新計画は、柏崎刈羽原発7基のうち4基を14年度中に再稼働することを前提とした。原発1基の稼働で火力発電の燃料費が1000億円以上減り、1000億円規模の黒字を確保できる見込みだ。

The government decided at the end of last year to share in the cost for decontamination as an additional measure to support the utility, which is also a positive factor for TEPCO.
 政府が昨年末に、除染関連の費用を一部負担する追加支援策を決めたことも好材料である。

When TEPCO’s business operations are put on the right track, the government plans to sell all the TEPCO shares it holds by the end of the early 2030s and use proceeds from the sale to supplement decontamination work.
 経営が軌道に乗れば、国は保有する東電株を30年代前半までにすべて売却し、売却益を除染費用に充てる方針だ。

However, we cannot help but fear that the new comprehensive special business plan will stumble from the start.
 ところが、新事業計画は出足からつまずく懸念が拭えない。

This is largely because Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida still opposes the restart of reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, making such comments as, “The Fukushima No. 1 plant crisis should be thoroughly investigated [before reactivation of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant].”
 新潟県の泉田裕彦知事が柏崎刈羽原発の再稼働について「福島の事故検証が先」などと、否定的な姿勢を崩していないからだ。

The Nuclear Regulation Authority must conduct safety inspections of idle reactors without delay, ultimately based on the government’s safety regulation standards.
 原子力規制委員会はあくまで国の規制基準に基づいて、審査を遅滞なく進めなくてはならない。

To implement the special business plan, it is indispensable to steadily restart nuclear reactors that the regulatory committee has confirmed to be safe.
 事業計画の実現には、安全性を確認できた原発の着実な再稼働が不可欠である。

Local govt heads’ position

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant is an important power source that supplies electricity to the Tokyo metropolitan area. The Tokyo governor and other heads of local governments around Tokyo, which consume the electricity supplied by TEPCO, need to be keenly aware they are in a position to insist that Izumida and other relevant parties show understanding to the restarting of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
Such action is necessary to ensure the stability of local economies and residents’ daily lives.
 柏崎刈羽原発は首都圏の電力供給を担う重要電源だ。東京都をはじめ電力消費地の首長は、地域経済と住民生活の安定を図るため、原発再稼働への理解を泉田知事らに求める立場であることを、自覚する必要がある。

In that sense, it is extremely irresponsible for anyone scheduled to run in the Tokyo gubernatorial election to advocate a zero nuclear power generation policy without proposing practical alternative sources of electricity.
 都知事選の候補予定者が、現実的な代替電源も示さずに脱原発を唱えるなら、あまりに無責任だ。

TEPCO has increased its goal for cost cutting over the next 10 years from ¥3.4 trillion in the initial plan to ¥4.8 trillion in the revised plan. It will ask 2,000 or more of its employees to voluntarily retire. Managerial-level staffers aged 50 or older, who numbered 500 at the time of the March 11, 2011, disaster, will be removed from their posts and specially assigned to the Fukushima plant and related jobs to handle compensation demands and other related tasks.
 東電は今後10年の経費節減の目標を、当初計画の3・4兆円から4・8兆円に増額した。希望退職を2000人規模で募り、震災時に50歳以上だった500人の管理職は役職を外して福島専任とし、賠償業務などにあたらせる。

It is important for TEPCO to carry out such restructuring programs to improve its earning capacity. However, if the morale of employees declines because of the programs, it will hinder work to decommission the crippled reactors and handle compensation requests—key tasks the company should steadily proceed with.
 収益力の向上へ、東電のリストラは大切だ。しかし、社員の士気が下がれば肝心の廃炉や賠償などの業務に支障が出かねない。

The revised special business plan also stipulates a policy of transforming TEPCO into a holding company system beginning in fiscal 2016.
 新計画は16年度に東電が持ち株会社制に移行する方針も示した。

The intent to make each business field into a separate corporation to clarify the responsibilities of each business sector is a reasonable one.
事業ごとに別会社にして、責任を明確化する狙いはわかる。

However, it is questionable to establish separate companies while dealing with such important issues as restoring a stable supply of electricity and devising countermeasures for radioactive contaminated water from the Fukushima plant.
 ただ、電力安定供給の回復や汚染水対策など重要課題を抱える時期の分社化は疑問だ。

For the time being, TEPCO must maintain its current management arrangement, in which it is easier to put the right people in the right jobs.
当面は、適材適所の人事配置をしやすい現体制を維持すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 16, 2014)
(2014年1月16日01時36分  読売新聞)

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