More than ¥80 billion will be set aside in an extra budget for fiscal 2012 to build facilities for the development of technologies useful for scrapping the crippled reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, sources said Wednesday.
One facility will be a center to develop robots to check damage to reactor containers and conduct repairs in a highly radioactive environment. At another facility, radioactive substances created by the disaster will be analyzed.
The government plans to funnel the money to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the sources said. The facilities are also expected to support employment and reconstruction in Fukushima Prefecture.
The government hopes to attract researchers in and outside Japan to the prefecture so it can become an international hub for radiation study.
Three reactors at the Fukushima plant melted down in the March 2011 disaster. Decommissioning work is expected to take up to about 40 years.
Nuclear safety effort
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed in talks with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano on Wednesday a shared readiness to strengthen cooperation in nuclear safety in light of the Fukushima No. 1 disaster.
During the 20-minute talks in Tokyo, the IAEA director general thanked Japan for its support for the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s activities, expressing his readiness to lead international efforts to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy and strengthen the existing nonproliferation regime, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Praising the IAEA for its work on North Korean and Iranian nuclear issues, Kishida vowed Japan’s full support for the watchdog.