Japan to double interest-free loans to Tepco: Nikkei

JAPAN - The Japanese government will double interest-free loans to Tokyo Electric Power Co to help the company in its radiation cleanup following the Fukushima nuclear plant leak, the Nikkei reported.

The government will extend the existing credit line from 5 trillion yen (S$60 billion) to as much as 10 trillion yen, the Japanese business daily said, without citing sources.

Tepco will cover the estimated 5 trillion yen to 6 trillion yen in compensation to the victims of the Fukushima disaster, while the government will contribute about 1 trillion yen to build storage facilities for radioactive waste, the Nikkei said.

The company and the government will contribute about 2.5 trillion yen needed for the decontamination work at the plant, with the government covering any additional costs, the report said.

Tepco, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, planned to rechannel about 740 billion yen from its 10-year capital investment budget to revive the crippled facility.