TOKYO (Sputnik) – Decontamination costs of the area surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant (NPP) reached some 2.6 trillion yen (approximately $22.7 billion) by the end of 2016 while further increase is likely, local media reported Friday, citing the Japanese Environment Ministry.
The decontamination costs are expected to grow due to the difficulty of the works that need to be carried out in hard-to-reach areas, according to the Kyodo news agency.
The full elimination of the accident’s consequences, including payment of compensation to the evacuees and the costs of the reactors’ dismantling will reach 21.5 trillion yen, compared to the earlier forecasts saying the costs would amount to 11 trillion yen, the Economy Ministry said in December.
The Fukushima disaster took place in March 2011, as an earthquake triggered a tsunami and hit the NPP, leading to the leakage of radioactive materials and the shutdown of the plant. People are still prohibited to live in the settlements, located near the NPP and the clean-up operations are expected to take about 40 years.