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Norway's $61 bln KLP fund excludes Tepco due to Fukushima
December 2, 2013 / 12:51 PM / 4 years ago

Norway's $61 bln KLP fund excludes Tepco due to Fukushima

OSLO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Norwegian fund KLP has sold its shares in Tepco, the operator of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, due to its handling of the disaster, a KLP executive said on Monday.

A huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered three meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 and exposed a lack of preparation by Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco.

The Japanese firm has floundered for much of the last 2-1/2 years in dealing with several problems at the site, including a series of leaks of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

KLP, which holds total assets worth about 375 billion Norwegian crowns ($61.32 billion), sold all its 8 million crowns worth of shares in Tepco in recent weeks, it said on Monday.

“Fukushima is the reason,” said Heidi Finskas, an adviser for responsible investments at KLP, a life insurance company.

“It is not the accident itself, but it is the evaluation of the whole situation, both with the risk assessment before the accident and due to the current situation.”

“Almost three years have passed and the situation is still not under control. And there is a still a risk for further radioactive pollution at Fukushima,” she said.

A Tepco spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

The Fukushima operator won rare praise from monitors on Monday for its efforts to decommission the site. It has proceeded with initial decommissioning steps, including the tricky removal of spent fuel rod assemblies from a badly damaged reactor building. ($1 = 6.1159 Norwegian kroner) (Editing by Pravin Char)

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