A Tokyo-based think tank estimates that the complete cost of dealing with the Fukushima disaster could reach ¥70 trillion.
Fukushima nuclear disaster aftermath cost estimated at Y70 trillion
TOKYO —The total cost to deal with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster has been estimated at 70 trillion yen ($626 billion), over three times more than the government calculation, a study by a private think tank showed Saturday.
The Japan Center for Economic Research said total costs at the Fukushima nuclear complex operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc could rise to between 50 trillion and 70 trillion yen. It compares with the roughly 22 trillion yen a government panel estimated in December.
“If costs rise, the public burden could greatly increase. The country’s nuclear policy needs to be reviewed,” the JCER said.
Initially in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the government expected the costs to total 11 trillion.
But a study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed the figure could be double the sum estimated in 2013.
Following that, the government decided to raise electricity rates to secure the money necessary to cover compensation payments, increasing the national burden.
Among the costs, the bill for compensation has been estimated at 8 trillion yen by the ministry. The JCER also adopted the figure.
The JCER, however, estimated costs for decontamination work at 30 trillion yen, compared with the government’s figure of 6 trillion yen, after the think tank made a calculation under a presumption that radioactive substances are disposed of at a facility in Rokkasho village in Aomori Prefecture.
The government is seeking a way to treat waste in Fukushima Prefecture, including radioactive soil, of which the amount could add up to roughly 22 million cubic meters, but where and how it will be disposed of has yet to be decided. Costs related to the procedure are not included in the government’s calculation.
Costs for decommissioning crippled reactors, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years, were estimated by the center at 11 trillion yen, compared with the government’s 8 trillion yen.
Expenses to treat contaminated water that remains in tanks at the plant were estimated by the center at 20 trillion yen unless the toxic water is released in the ocean after being diluted as nuclear regulation authorities recommend.
Real cost of Fukushima disaster will reach ¥70 trillion, or triple government’s estimate: think tank
A private think tank says the total cost of the Fukushima disaster could reach ¥70 trillion ($626 billion), or more than three times the government’s latest estimate.
In a study Saturday, the Japan Center for Economic Research said costs of dealing with the heavily damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. could rise to between ¥50 trillion and ¥70 trillion.
In December, the government estimated the costs would reach roughly ¥22 trillion.
“If costs rise, the public burden could greatly increase. The country’s nuclear policy needs to be reviewed,” JCER said.
The government’s initial expectations pegged the costs at ¥11 trillion.
But a study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that the final figure could turn out to be double the sum estimated in 2013.
Following that, the government decided to raise electricity rates to secure the money needed to cover compensation payments to the evacuees.
According to METI’s estimates, the bill for compensation payments will be ¥8 trillion, a figure the JCER decided to adopt.
The JCER, however, estimates the cost of the decontamination work will hit ¥30 trillion, or five times more than the government’s estimate of ¥6 trillion. The think tank based this calculation on a presumption that radioactive substances will be disposed of at a nuclear facility in the village of Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture.
The government is seeking a way to treat radioactive soil and other waste in Fukushima Prefecture that could grow to roughly 22 million cu. meters, but where and how to dispose of it has yet to be decided.
Costs related to this procedure are not included in the government’s calculations.
In the meantime, JCER estimates that the cost of decommissioning the crippled reactors, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years, will reach ¥11 trillion. The government’s estimate is ¥8 trillion.
JCER also estimates that treating the contaminated water stored in hundreds of tanks at the plant will cost ¥20 trillion unless it is dumped into the ocean after being diluted as recommended by regulators.