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The TEPCO head office

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (東京電力株式会社, Tōkyō Denryoku Kabushiki-gaisha), also known as TEPCO, is an electric utility servicing Japan's Kantō region, Yamanashi Prefecture, and the eastern portion of Shizuoka Prefecture. This area includes Tokyo. Its headquarters are located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, and international branch offices exist in Washington, D.C., and London.

Tepco is the fourth largest electric power company in the world (1st: E.ON, 2nd: Électricité de France, 3rd: RWE), and the largest to hail from Asia. The amount of electricity it sells annually is the same as the amount Italy uses in a year. Tepco has one-third of the Japanese electric market. Tepco is the largest of the 10 electric utilities in Japan.

In 2007 Tepco was forced to shut the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant after the Niigata-Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake. That year it posted its first loss in 28 years.[1] Corporate losses continued until the plant reopened in 2009.[2] Following the March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, its power plant at Fukushima Daiichi was the site of a 2011 Fukushima I nuclear accidents|continuing nuclear disaster, one of the world's most serious. TEPCO could face ¥2,000,000,000,000 ($2,360,000,000) in special losses in the current business year to March 2012,[3] and Japan plans to put TEPCO under effective state control as a guarantee for compensation payments to people affected by radiation.[4]


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Japan's ten regional electric companies, including TEPCO, were established in 1951 with the end of the state-run electric industry regime for national wartime mobilization.[5]

In the 1950s, the company's primary goal was to facilitate a rapid recovery from the infrastructure devastation of World War II. After the recovery period, the company had to expand its supply capacity to catch up with the country's rapid economic growth by developing fossil fuel power plants and a more efficient transmission network.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the company faced the challenges of increased environmental pollution and oil shocks. TEPCO began addressing environmental concerns through expansion of its LNG fueled power plant network as well as greater reliance on nuclear generation. The first nuclear unit at the Fukushima Dai-ichi (Fukushima I) nuclear power plant began operational generation on March 26, 1970.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the widespread use of air-conditioners and IT/OA appliances resulted a gap between day and night electricity demand. In order to reduce surplus generation capacity and increase capacity utilization, TEPCO developed pumped storage hydroelectric power plants and promoted thermal storage units.

Recently, TEPCO is expected to play a key role in achieving Japan's targets for reduced carbon dioxide emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. It also faces difficulties related to the trend towards deregulation in Japan's electric industry as well as low power demand growth. In light of these circumstances, TEPCO launched an extensive sales promotion campaign called 'Switch!', promoting all-electric housing in order to both achieve the more efficient use of its generation capacity as well as erode the market share of gas companies.

Corporate overview

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  • Capital stock: ¥676,424,197,050
  • Total outstanding shares: 1,352,876,531
  • Number of shareholders: 821,841
  • Electricity sales (FY 2004): 92,592 million kWh (lighting), 194,148 million kWh (power), 286,741 million kWh (total)
  • Peak demand: 64.3 million kW (July 24, 2001)
  • Number of customers (ending March 31, 2005): 25,120,000 / 83.89 million kW (lighting), 2,630,000 thousand / 39.75 million kWh (power), 27,740,000 / 123.64 million kW (total)
  • Revenue from electricity sales: ¥4,637.2 billion yen (FY 2004)

Executive compensation

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The Washington Post reported, that compared to American and European chief executives, Tepco chief, "Shimizu earns a pittance. Tepco won’t give his salary, but total remuneration for the president and 20 other directors came to $8.9 million in fiscal 2009, the last period for which figures are available," an average of $445,000.[6]

Community compensation

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Tokyo Electric Power could face 2 trillion yen ($23.6 bln) in special losses in the current business year to March 2012 to compensate communities near its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, according to JP Morgan.[3]

Japan plans to put TEPCO under effective state control so it can meet its compensation payments to people affected by radiation leaking from its Fukushima I plant. Tokyo will set aside several trillion yen in public funds that TEPCO can "dip into if it runs short for payouts to people affected".[4]

Salary pay cuts

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The company workers agreed to a management proposal to cut their pay as a sense of responsibility for the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Annual remuneration for board members will be reduced by 50 percent since April 2011, while payment for managers will be cut by 25 percent and workers by 20 percent both since July 2011 and bonuses since June 2011. The company expects to save about 54 billion yen ($659 million) a year from the pay cuts.[7][8][9]

Power stations and generation capacity

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  • Hydro: 160 / 8.521 million kW
  • Thermal (oil, coal, LN(P)G, geothermal): 26 / 36.995 million kW
  • Nuclear: 3 / 17.308 million kW
  • Wind: 1 / 0.001 million kW
  • Total: 190 / 62.825 million kW

Position in the industry

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TEPCO is the largest electric utility in Japan and the 4th largest electric utility in the world after German RWE, French Électricité de France and Germany|Germany's E.ON. As TEPCO stands in a leading position in this industry, they have relatively a strong effect for Japanese economics, environment, and energy industry.

Management and finance

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The company's power generation consists of two main networks. Fossil fuel power plants around Tokyo Bay are used for peak load supply and nuclear reactors in Fukushima Prefecture|Fukushima and Niigata Prefecture provide base load supply. Additionally, hydroelectric plants in the mountainous areas outside the Kanto Plain, despite their relatively small capacity compared to fossil fuel and nuclear generation, remain important in providing peak load supply. The company also purchases electricity from other regional or wholesale electric power companies like Tohoku Electric Power Co., Electric Power Development|J-POWER, and Japan Atomic Power Company.

Transmission and distribution

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The company has built a radiated and circular Grid (electricity) ‎|grid between power plants and urban/industrial demand areas. Each transmission line is designed to transmit electricity at high-voltage (66-500kV) between power plants and substations. Normally transmission lines are strung between towers, but within the Tokyo metropolitan area high-voltage lines are located underground.

From substations, electricity is transmitted via the distribution grid at low-voltage (22-6kV). For high-voltage supply to large buildings and factories, distribution lines are directly connected to customers' electricity systems. In this case, customers must purchase and set up transformers and other equipment to run electric appliances. For low voltage supply to houses and small shops, distribution lines are first connected to the company's transformers (seen on utility poles and utility boxes), converted to 100/200V, and finally connected to end users.

Under normal conditions, TEPCO's transmission and distribution infrastructure is notable as one of the most reliable electricity networks in the world. Blackout frequency and average recovery time compares favorably with other electric companies in Japan as well as within other developed countries. The company instituted its first-ever rolling blackouts[10] following the shutdown of the Fukushima I and II plants which were close to the epicenter of the March 2011 earthquake.[11] For example on the morning of Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 700,000 households had no power for three hours.[12] The company had to deal with a 10 million kW gap between demand and production on March 14, 2011.

Corporate image

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Safety inspections

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On August 29, 2002, the government of Japan revealed that TEPCO was guilty of false reporting in routine governmental inspection of its nuclear plants and systematic concealment of plant safety incidents. All seventeen of its boiling-water reactors were shut down for inspection as a result. TEPCO's chairman Hiroshi Araki, President Nobuya Minami, Vice-President Toshiaki Enomoto, as well as the advisers Shō Nasu and Gaishi Hiraiwa stepped-down by September 30, 2002.[13] The utility "eventually admitted to two hundred occasions over more than two decades between 1977 and 2002, involving the submission of false technical data to authorities".[14] Upon taking over leadership responsibilities, TEPCO's new president issued a public commitment that the company would take all the countermeasures necessary to prevent fraud and restore the nation's confidence. By the end of 2005, generation at suspended plants had been restarted, with government approval.

In 2007, however, the company announced to the public that an internal investigation had revealed a large number of cover up|unreported incidents. These included an criticality accident|unexpected unit criticality in 1978 and additional systematic false reporting, which had not been uncovered during the 2002 inquiry. Along with scandals at other Japanese electric companies, this failure to ensure corporate compliance resulted in strong public criticism of Japan's electric power industry and the nation's nuclear energy policy. Again, the company made no effort to identify those responsible.

2008 shutdown

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In 2008, Tokyo Electric, forced to shut the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant after an earthquake, posted its first loss in 28 years as oil and gas costs soared.[1]

2011 TEPCO nuclear accidents

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On 11 March 2011 several nuclear reactors in Japan were badly damaged by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

The Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant lost external electric power, experienced the failure of one of its two cooling pumps, and two of its three emergency power generators. External electric power could only be restored two days after the earthquake.[15][16]

The Japanese government declared an “atomic power emergency” and evacuated thousands of residents living close to TEPCO's Fukushima I nuclear accidents|Fukushima I plant. Reactors 4, 5 and 6 had been shut down prior to the earthquake for planned maintenance.[17][18] The remaining reactors were shut down automatically after the earthquake, but the subsequent tsunami flooded the plant, knocking out emergency generators needed to run pumps which cool and control the reactors. The flooding and earthquake damage prevented assistance being brought from elsewhere. Over the following days there was evidence of partial nuclear meltdowns in reactors 1, 2 and 3; hydrogen explosions destroyed the upper cladding of the building housing reactors 1 and 3; an explosion damaged reactor 2's containment; and severe fires broke out at reactor 4.

The Japanese authorities rated the events at reactors 1, 2 and 3 as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, while the events at reactor 4 were placed at level 3 (Serious Incident). The situation as a whole was rated as level 7 (Major Accident). On 20 March, Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano "confirmed for the first time that the nuclear complex — with heavy damage to reactors and buildings and with radioactive contamination throughout — would be closed once the crisis was over."[19] At the same time, questions are being asked, looking back, about whether company management waited too long before pumping seawater into the plant, a measure that would ruin and has now ruined the reactors;[20][21] and, looking forward, "whether time is working for or against the workers and soldiers struggling to re-establish cooling at the crippled plant." One report noted that defense minister, Toshimi Kitazawa, on 21 March had committed "military firefighters to spray water around the clock on an overheated storage pool at Reactor No. 3." The report concluded with "a senior nuclear executive who insisted on anonymity but has many contacts in Japan sa[ying that] ... caution ... [as] plant operators have been struggling to reduce workers’ risk ... had increased the risk of a serious accident. He suggested that Japan’s military assume primary responsibility. 'It’s the same trade-off you have to make in war, and that is the sacrifice of a few for the safety of many,' he said. 'But a corporation just cannot do that.'"[20]

There has been considerable criticism to the way TEPCO handled the crisis. It was reported that seawater was used only after Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered it following an explosion at one reactor the evening of 12 March, though executives had started considering it that morning. Tepco didn't begin using seawater at other reactors until 13 March.[21] Referring to that same early decision-making sequence, "Michael Friedlander, a former senior operator at a Pennsylvania power plant with General Electric reactors similar to the troubled ones in Japan, said the crucial question is whether Japanese officials followed G.E.’s emergency operating procedures." Kuni Yogo, a former atomic energy policy planner in Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology|Science and Technology Agency[20] and Akira Omoto, a former Tepco executive and a member of the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission[21] both questioned Tepco's management's decisions in the crisis. Kazuma Yokota, a safety inspector with Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, or NISA, was at Fukushima I at the time of the earthquake and tsunami and provided details of the early progression of the crisis.[21]

Company future

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On 30 March 2011, the president of Tepco, Masataka Shimizu, was hospitalized with symptoms of dizziness and high blood pressure in the wake of an increasingly serious outlook for the Fukushima plant and increasing levels of radiation from the stricken plant, as well as media reports of Tepco's imminent nationalization or bankruptcy triggered by the situation at the Fukushima plant.[22]

Specific government plans to "dismantle" Tepco were circulating by April 16, expected to include state involvement culminating in a bankruptcy and reorganization process.[23]


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Name Location
Corporate Headquarters 1-1-3 Uchisaiwai-Cho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Branch 5-4-9 Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo Service offices: Ginza, Koutou, Ueno, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Otsuka, Ogikubo, Shinagawa
Kanagawa Branch 1-1 Benten-Dori, Naka, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Service offices: Kawasaki, Tsurumi, Yokohama, Fujisawa, Sagamihara, Hiratsuka, Odawara
Chiba Branch 2-9-5 Fujimi, Chuo, Chiba City, Chiba Service offices: Chiba, Keiyou, Toukatsu, Narita, Kisarazu
Washington, D.C. Office 1901 L Street, NW, Suite 720, Washington D.C.
London Office Wing 7, Fourth Floor, Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square London W1J 6BR, UK

Power plants

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Name Location Number of units Generation Capacity (MW)
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant 22 Kitahara, Mezawa, Okuma Town, Futaba County, Fukushima 6 (of which at least 4 were destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami) +2 (planned) 0 (operational) +2,700 (planned)
Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant 12 Obamatsukuri, Namikura, Narawa Town, Futaba County, Fukushima 4 (operational) 4,400 (operational)
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant 16-46 Aoyama-Cho, Kashiwazaki City, Niigata 2 (operational) 5 (closed) 2,712 (operational) 5,500 (closed)

In March 2008, Tokyo Electric announced that the start of operation of four new nuclear power reactors would be postponed by one year due to the incorporation of new earthquake resistance assessments. Units 7 and 8 of the Fukushima Daiichi plant would now enter commercial operation in October 2014 and October 2015, respectively. Unit 1 of the Higashidori plant is now scheduled to begin operating in December 2015, while unit 2 will start up in 2018 at the earliest.[24]

Fossil Fuel

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Name Location Units MW)
Anegasaki Power Station MW 3,600
Sodegaura Power Station     3,600
Futtsu Power Station 25 Shintomi, Futtsu City, Chiba 4 (operational) 5,000
Kashima Power Station     4,400
Hirono Power Station     3,800
Oi Thermal Power Station 1-2-2 Yashio, Shinagawa, Tokyo 1 (operational) 1,050
Shinagawa 5-6-22 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo 1 (operational) 1,140 (operational)
Yokosuka 9-2-1 Kurihama, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa 3 (operational) +4 (standby) 730 (operational) +1,400 (standby)
Kawasaki 5-1 Chidori-Cho, Kawasaki, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa 1 (under construction) 3,000 (under construction)
Yokohama 11-1 Daikoku-Cho, Tsurumi, Yokohama City, Kanagawa 4 (operational) 3,325 (operational)
Minami Yokohama 37-1 Shin-Isogo Cho, Isogo, Yokohama City, Kanagawa 3 (operational) 1,150 (operational)
Higashi Ogishima 3 Higashi-Ogishima, Kawasaki, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa 2 (operational) 2,000 (operational)


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Tepco has a total of 160 hydroelectric stations with a total capacity of 8,520 MW

  • Pumped-storage hydroelectricity(500 MW and up)
    • Nagawado Dam (623 MW)
    • Takase Dam (1,280 MW)
    • Tanbara Dam (1,200 MW)
    • Sabigawa Dam (900 MW)
    • Imashi Dam (1,050 MW)
    • Kazunogawa Dam (800 MW)
    • Kanagawa Hydroelectric Generating Station (2,820 MW)

Electric vehicle batteries and recharging

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Under the lead of an organization affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Tokyo Electric Power Company is working out next-gen car battery norms.[25] It has developed a specification for high-voltage direct current|DC automotive fast charging using a JARI JARI Level 3 DC connector|Level 3 DC connector, and formed the CHΛdeMO (stands for Charge and Move) association with Japanese automakers Mitsubishi Motors|Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru to promote it.[26]


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  1. a b Tokyo Electric Has First Loss in 28 Years on Shutdown
  2. Tokyo Electric stays in red in FY 2008
  3. a b Antoni Slodkowski (April 11, 2011). "Tepco may face $23.6 billion compensation costs: JP Morgan". Reuters.
  4. a b "Japan to control TEPCO to handle compensation claims after nuclear disaster". Herald Sun. April 20, 2011.
  5. Martin, Alex, "When it comes to mighty Tepco, pride goes before the fall", Japan Times, 17 May 2011, p. 3.
  6. The Washington Post. 29 March 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/vanishing-act-by-japanese-executive-during-nuclear-crisis-raises-questions/2011/03/28/AFDnHNpB_story.html. 
  7. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-25/tepco-to-cut-worker-board-pay-as-much-as-50-to-pare-costs-1-.html
  8. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-26/tepco-workers-accept-pay-cuts-in-response-to-fukushima-crisis-union-says.html
  9. Tepco Workers Accept Pay Cuts After Fukushima Nuclear Crisis
  10. "TEPCO to conduct rolling blackout amid power shortage". Reuters. 13 March 2011. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/13/us-japan-quake-tepco-idUSTRE72C2SB20110313. 
  11. Japan Earthquake Update (11 March 2011, 11:45 UTC)
  12. Rolling blackouts continue
  13. "Heavy fallout from Japan nuclear scandal". CNN. 2 September 2002. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/BUSINESS/asia/09/02/japan.tepco/index.html. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  14. Cooke, Stephanie (2009). In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 388. ISBN 9781596916173.
  15. "Cooling system pump stops at Tokai No.2 plant-Kyodo; Energy & Oil; Reuters". af.reuters.com. 13 March 2011. http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFTKG00708120110313. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  16. Takenaka, Kiyoshi (13 March 2011). "Tokai No.2 nuke plant cooling process working - operator | Reuters". uk.reuters.com. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/13/uk-japan-quake-tokai-idUKTRE72C2RL20110313. Retrieved 13 March 2011. "Japan Atomic Power said Monday that the cooling process was working at its Tokai No.2 nuclear power plant's reactor although two of the three diesel power generators used for cooling were out of order." 
  17. Black, Richard (15 March 2011). "Reactor breach worsens prospects". BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12745186. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  18. Biela Liwag. "Government Scientists on Japan Nuke Meltdown "No need to worry"". Noypi.ph. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  19. Tabuchi, Hiroko, and Norimitsu Onishi, "Progress at Japan Reactors; New Signs of Food Radiation", The New York Times, March 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
  20. a b c Belson, Ken, Keith Bradsher and Matthew L. Wald, "Executives May Have Lost Valuable Time at Damaged Nuclear Plant", The New York Times, March 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  21. a b c d Shirouzu, Norihiko, Phred Dvorak, Yuka Hayashi and Andrew Morse, "Bid to 'Protect Assets' Slowed Reactor Fight", The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  22. 'Tepco president hospitalized as pressure mounts on firm' BBC News 30 March 2011.
  23. http://www.ktvz.com/money/27566130/detail.html
  24. New Japanese nuclear power reactors delayed
  25. Japan firms to work out next-gen car battery norms: Scientific American
  26. "Tokyo Electric Power Licenses Aker Wade to Build Level III Fast Chargers". Green Car Congress. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
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