Kansai Electric Power Company
|Type||Public kabushiki gaisha|
|Traded as||TYO: 9503
|Founded||Osaka, Japan (1 May 1951)|
|Headquarters||Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan|
|Revenue||¥2,811,424 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|Operating income||¥-229,388 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|Profit||¥-242,257 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|Total assets||¥7,521,352 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|Total equity||¥1,529,843 million (FY 2011)[* 1]|
|Employees||32,961 (consolidated, as of 31 March 2012)|
The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (関西電力株式会社 Kansai Denryoku Kabushiki-gaisha?, KEPCO), also known as Kanden (関電?), is an electric utility with its operational area of Kansai region, Japan (including the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto megalopolis).
The Kansai region is Japan’s second-largest industrial area, and in normal times, its most nuclear-reliant. Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a band of 11 nuclear reactors — north of the major cities Osaka and Kyoto — supplied almost 50 percent of the region’s power.
As of January 2012, only one of those reactors was still running. In March 2012, the last reactor was taken off the powergrid.
Kansai Electric Power Company has 164 plants with a total production capacity of 35,760 MW.
|Name||Location||Generation capacity (MW)|
|Name||Generation capacity (MW)|
|Name||Generation capacity (MW)|
|Kurobe-4 (Kurobe Dam)||335|
|Others (147 plants)||818|
Accidents and incidents
Mihama accident in 2004
On 9 August 2004, KEPCO reported that five of its employees were killed by a steam burst at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture. The burst, according to KEPCO, was due to the neglect of mandated safety checks and there was no release of radioactivity.
On 22 March 2006, the AP reported that 2 employees were injured in a four hour fire. The fire apparently started in an area of the facility where ash is packed into steel barrels. Some of the waste processed in that area contains low levels of radiation, but monitors outside the facility have shown no signs of leakage. All four pressurized water reactors were operating normally at the time.
The Kansai region is Japan’s second-largest industrial area, and in normal times, its most nuclear-reliant. Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a band of 11 nuclear reactors — north of the major cities Osaka and Kyoto — supplied almost 50 percent of the region’s power. But as of January 2012, only one of those reactors is still running. Meanwhile, power company employees are racing to reassure Japanese that plants are safe and necessary. In 2012, officials from Kansai Electric Power Co., "have gone door to door in towns that host its nuclear plants, conducting polls and answering questions".
Promoting nuclear power
A member of the town assembly of Takahama, Fukui: Tomio Yamamoto received as president of the real estate company OHC Fukui, over 100 million yen for the rent of an unused factory over four years from 2006 to 2010 from a subsidiary of Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) The factory was used for storage, but the rent was unusually high, almost double the market price. The money was apparently paid in return for promoting nuclear power. In September 2010 an opinion statement to reactivate the nuclear reactors was proposed by Akio Awano, the vice speaker of the town assembly. Yamamoto and two other town assembly members did sign the proposal before it was submitted to the assembly.
Opposition to the dependence on nuclear power
In August 2011 citizens of the prefecture Shiga, at the banks of Lake Biwa, started a lawsuit at the Otsu District Court, and asked a court order to prevent the restart of seven reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Company, in the prefecture Fukui.
On 27 February 2012 three Kansai cities, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, jointly asked Kansai Electric Power Co. to break its dependence on nuclear power. In a letter to KEPCO they also requested to disclose information on the demand and supply of electricity, and for lower and stable prices. The three cities were stockholders of the plant: Osaka owned 9% of the shares, while Kobe had 3% and Kyoto 0.45%. Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, announced a proposal to minimize the dependence on nuclear power for the shareholders meeting in June 2012.
On 18 March 2012 the city of Osaka decided as largest shareholder of Kansai Electric Power Co, that at the next shareholders-meeting in June 2012 it would demand a series of changes:
- that Kansai Electric would be split into two companies, separating power generation from power transmission
- a reduction of the number of the utility's executives and employees.
- the implementation of absolutely secure measurements to ensuring the safety of the nuclear facilities.
- the disposing of spent fuel.
- the installation of new kind of thermal power generation to secure non-nuclear supply of energy.
- selling all unnecessary assets including the stock holdings of KEPCO.
In this action Osaka had secured the support of two other cities and shareholders: Kyoto and Kobe, but with their combined voting-rights of 12.5 percent they were not certain of the ultimate outcome, because for this two-thirds of the shareholders would be needed to agree.to revise the corporate charter.
At a meeting held on 10 April 2012 by the "energy strategy council", formed by the city of Osaka and the governments of the prefectures, it became clear that at the end of the fiscal year 2011 some 69 employees of Kansai Electric Power Company were former public servants. "Amakudari" is the Japanese name for this practice: hiring officials that formerly controlled and supervised the firm: among these people were:
- 13 ex-officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
- 3 ex-officials of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry,
- 2 ex-officials of the Ministry of the Environment,
- 16 former policemen,
- 13 former civil engineers.
- 16 former policemen,
- 10 ex-firefighters
Besides this, it became known that Kansai Electric had done about 600 external financial donations, to a total sum of about 1.695 billion yen:
- 70 donations were paid to local governments: to a total of 699 million yen
- 100 donations to public-service organizations: 443 million yen,
- 430 donations to various organizations and foundations: a total of 553 million yen
During this meeting some 8 conditions were compiled, that needed to be fulfilled before a restart of the No.3 and No.4 reactors Oi Nuclear Power Plant:
- the consent of the local people and government within 100 kilometer from the plant
- the installation of a new independent regulatory agency
- a nuclear safety agreement
- the establishment of new nuclear safety standards
- stress tests and evaluations based on these new safety rules 
On 14 September 2013, the day before the no. 4 Oi reactor was scheduled to closed down for regular inspections, some 9000 demonstrators gathered at the Kameido Chuo Park and later marched close to JR Kinshicho Station and the Tokyo Skytree. They called for an end of Japans dependency on nuclear power. The day after the Oi-reactor closed down, leaving Japan without any nuclear power for the third time in 40 years. 
Over the business year 2011-2012, which ends in March, Kansai Electric Power Co. was expected to suffer a loss of 250 billion yen or more, because of the growing fuel cost for thermal power generation. In the business year 2009 the net loss was 8.7 billion yen.
- Chico Harlan (26 January 2012). "After earthquake, Japan can’t agree on the future of nuclear power". Washington Post.
- The Mainichi Shimbun (23 February 2012) Assembly member realtor's high rent for factory linked to promotion of nuclear power
- The Mainichi Daily News (9 November 2011) Residents seek court order not to restart Tsuruga reactors
- The Mainichi Shimbun (27 February 2012)3 major Kansai cities aim to break dependence on nuclear power
- The Mainichi Shimbun (19 March 2012)Osaka aims to end Kansai Electric's nuclear power ops as shareholder
- The Mainichi Shimbun (10 April 2012) Kansai Electric, affiliates had 69 ex-bureaucrats employed as execs as of end of fiscal 2011
- The Asahi Shimbun (15 September 2013) Anti-nuke protesters call for end to nuclear energy use
- AD.NL (Dutch) (15 September 2013) Japan zit zonder nucleaire stroom
- The Mainichi Shimbun (25 February 2012)Kansai Electric to incur more than 250 bil. yen group net loss
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