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Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cleanup Costs Spike to $178 Billion

© AP Photo / Koji Sasahara, PoolA staff member of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)
A staff member of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) - Sputnik International
Decommissioning the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, following its 2011 disastrous meltdown, will cost almost twice what was initially projected in 2013, according to Nikkei.

The March 11, 2011, magnitude-9 earthquake not only caused massively destructive tsunamis across the region, but also created the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in Ukraine. 

A coast guard vessel (back R) patrols the waters off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture on October 9, 2015. - Sputnik International
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The decommissioning project will run some 20 trillion yen (about $178 billion), including 8 trillion yen in labor compensation expenses, four to five trillion yen for decontamination, 1.1 trillion yen for temporary storage facilities, and 2 trillion yen devoted toward decommissioning the reactors, Reuters reports. The largest line-item increases were for labor compensation, decontamination, and decommissioning. The original estimate had been some 11 trillion yen.

Multiple unnamed sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that some of the cost increases would be passed onto consumers in the form of higher electricity fees.

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is currently in talks with the Ministry of Finance about increasing a 9 trillion yen interest-free loan to the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, according to Reuters. Further, the Japanese government is examining whether to issue and sell bonds to cover some of the compensation payments and decontamination costs, The Japan Times reports. 

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