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Japan nuclear fall-out: Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, posts annual loss of nearly $10BN

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that was crippled by last year’s earthquake and tsunami posted a $9.8 billion loss for the year to March.

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Anti-nuclear protesters wear masks during a demonstration outside Tokyo Electric Power Company's headquarters in Tokyo on March 11, 2012, on the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami which triggered a meltdown at the company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that was crippled by last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, reported a 781.6 billion yen ($9.8 billion) loss for the year to March and forecast a 100 billion yen shortfall in 2013, Agence France-Presse reported.

According to the Wall Street Journal, TEPCO posted a 1.247 trillion yen loss a year ago, which was the largest in Japanese corporate history.

The BBC said this year’s loss was smaller because the Japanese government had taken over much of TEPCO’s disaster-related compensation and clean-up costs.

The Fukushima plant in northeastern Japan leaked radiation after it was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from towns around the plant.

The Japanese government last week agreed to provide TEPCO 1 trillion yen in return for more than 50 percent stake in the company, effectively nationalizing it.

According to Reuters, TEPCO has faced soaring fuel costs after the Japanese government ordered the closure of all nuclear reactors after the disaster, forcing the company to import fossil fuels.

Earlier this month Japan became nuclear-power free for the first time since 1970 after a reactor at the Tomari nuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido was shut down.

TEPCO, whose Tokyo-listed shares have plunged about 90 percent since the day before the disaster, will apply to delist from the Osaka and Nagoya stock exchanges, Bloomberg reported.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/japan/120514/japan-nuclear-fall-out-tokyo-electric-power-company-