TEPCO to ask Japan government for $12 billion bailout

Tokyo, March 29, 2012 — Tokyo Electric Power Co., plant operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, decided to officially request $12.06 billion in federal funds from the Japanese government, according to reports.

Japan's government will likely own a temporary controlling stake in TEPCO in return for the bailout, with the option of increasing its stake to as much as two-thirds if the utility fails to adopt reforms. TEPCO provides power to about 45 million people in the Tokyo area.

TEPCO sought a bailout to relieve the trillions of yen in compensatory damages it was found to be responsible for in the wake of the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima nuclear reactors and released radiation into the area. The utility may seek additional funding from a government bailout program to assist with these damages.

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