The year 2011 will go down for the nuclear industry worldwide as an annus horribilis.
First came the March Fukushima nuclear disaster, with operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) belatedly acknowledging that three of the facility’s six reactors did, in fact, suffer core meltdowns.
On 20 June Moody's Investors Service obligingly cut its credit rating on TEPCO to junk status and kept the operator of Japan's crippled nuclear power plant on review for possible further downgrade, citing uncertainty over the fate of its bailout plan. TEPCO is Japan's largest corporate bond issuer and its shares are widely held by financial institutions. TEPCO shares have plummeted 80 percent since March, dragging its market capitalization below $9 billion. Following the Fukushima crisis, including a round of emergency loans from lenders and $64 billion in outstanding bonds, TEPCO now has around $115 billion in debt versus equity of about $35 billion. It’s enough to make any self-respecting Japanese salaryman commit hara-kiri.
Full article at: Worldwide Nuclear Industry Woes Deepen