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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 28 - October 4  > Public made to pay for promoting nuclear energy
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2011 September 28 - October 4 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Public made to pay for promoting nuclear energy

September 16, 2011
Structure of reliance on NPP money (Part 9)

A decision on how much the electricity charge should be is made behind closed doors. Kaieda Banri, then Economy, Trade and Industry minister, in a House of Representatives economy and industry committee meeting on August 3 admitted that the procedure on setting forth electricity charges lacks transparency.

The electricity charges set up by power companies are based on the so-called “comprehensive cost”, which is the sum of personnel and fuel costs along with a certain amount of guaranteed profit.

Utilities can include in the comprehensive cost even the nuclear power sources development tax, which they are required to pay based on one of the three energy-related laws established in 1974.

Most of the energy sources development tax money is used as subsidies granted to local municipalities hosting NPPs and as funds for research and development of atomic energy. This tax is supposedly paid to the central government by power companies, but in fact it is from the electricity charges paid by the public.

In the FY 2009 settled national account, the tax came up as 330 billion yen. The total amount of the tax from FY 1974 to 2009 reaches nearly 9 trillion yen.

Contrary to the catch phrase that the comprehensive cost formula will contribute to the sound development of electricity generation, the electric charges have actually been used to promote nuclear power generation.

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