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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 21 - 27  > Mitsubishi may have to compensate for NPP closure in US
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2013 August 21 - 27 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Mitsubishi may have to compensate for NPP closure in US

August 22, 2013
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries may have to pay a vast amount of compensation for building equipment that caused radioactive leaks in two reactors of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California, the U.S.

This illustrates a risk posed by the Abe Cabinet’s promotion of exporting nuclear power generation technologies: a massive amount of liabilities Japan may have to pay in case of a nuclear accident.

The plant’s operator Southern California Edison (SCE) has decided to permanently shut down the San Onofre station, following the leaks of radioactive materials detected in steam generators, which were installed by Mitsubishi in the two reactors.

SCE has sent to Mitsubishi a notice that it will seek compensation for its loss exceeding the equipment supplier’s liability limit (13.8 billion yen or 137 million dollars) as set in their contract.

The total amount is expected to be billions of dollars, including costs to secure alternative power supplies and to maintain the idled reactors.

According to SCE, it has already spent more than 140 million dollars for investigations and countermeasures since the accident at the San Onofre station, which had generated power for about 1.4 million households.

Mitsubishi claims that under the contract with SCE, the liability is limited to 137 million dollars and that indirect damages, such as alternative fuel costs, should be excluded from the payment.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has been overseas to promote the sales of nuclear power generation technologies together with officials of Japanese nuclear-related manufacturers.

In May, Abe visited Turkey and agreed at a summit meeting to cooperate in promoting a nuclear power plant project in Sinop, Turkey, which will adopt a state-of-the-art reactor developed by a joint venture of Mitsubishi and France’s AREVA.
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