Of course the panic to get Oi up is we wouldn’t want the Japanese to discover they can get through a summer without nuclear power. But to a bond rater the profits of doom are just profits 🙁
WSJ (6/18 ’12): “Fukushima Watch: Moody’s Rates Restarts”
Why does Moody’s care about reactor restarts? Because without nuclear power, the financial profile of Japan’s big utilities looks dire. Most were reliant to a greater or lesser extent on their nuclear plants to maintain profits. But after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant last year, no reactor had been allowed to restart after being turned off for maintenance, until a safety vetting had been completed. All but one of Japan’s nine utilities operating nuclear plants posted a loss for the fiscal year ending March 31.
The above stark financial reality isn’t going to change just because the plant licenses expire, so expect renewals to the point of infrastructure collapse as these things age.