TEPCO to pay $2.2b for decontamination

TEPCO to pay $2.2b for decontamination

The government has decided that Tokyo Electric Power Co. will pay about ¥1.8 trillion (S$2.2 billion) of the costs to clean up radioactive substances released from its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, up about ¥300 billion from the existing plan, government sources said Saturday.

The government will pay for costs exceeding that cap, as well as construction costs of more than ¥1 trillion for interim storage facilities for contaminated soil from the cleanup work, the sources said.

This course of action will be stipulated in a comprehensive special business plan to be compiled by TEPCO this month as a new business rehabilitation plan, they said.

Clarification of the details of cost-sharing between the government and TEPCO should help accelerate decontamination work, facilitating the return of evacuated residents to their hometowns.

If the government's long-term target for an annual radiation dosage limit of 1 millisievert or less is considered the premise, total decontamination costs would be expected to top ¥5 trillion, meaning the already planned ¥1.5 trillion would not be sufficient.

However, since the Nuclear Regulation Authority in November issued safety guidelines to set the limit at 20 millisieverts for residents to return home, the decontamination costs are expected to shrink dramatically.

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