Japanese gov’t to budget $970mn for nuclear waste storage

Japan Fukushima web

The Japanese government said it would earmark 100 billion yen ($970 million) in the fiscal 2014 budget to build nuclear waste storage facilities in the Fukushima Prefecture.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, the money would go toward buying land for the intermediate storage facilities. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) was initially expected to cover all costs related to decontamination work, but the government recently decided to use public money to cover some of the costs to help the financially-struggling TEPCO. Officials said in the article that having TEPCO cover all of the expenses would slow down cleanup efforts at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Construction and operation costs for the storage facilities are estimated to cost about 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion). For the current fiscal year, 14.6 billion yen ($142.4 million) was budgeted to examine ground conditions at candidate sites in the towns of Futaba, Okuma and Naraha, all located in the Fukushima Prefecture.

The storage facilities would reportedly store radioactive soil, leaves and other materials collected for up to 30 years before being transferred elsewhere. The government said it plans to begin storing the debris starting in 2015, but local governments have been hesitant to site the facility in their areas, the article said.

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