The government and municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture could end up spending over ¥5 trillion on decontamination work following the 2011 nuclear accident, researchers said.
The cleanup cost is estimated between ¥2.53 trillion and ¥5.13 trillion, according to a research group of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
The estimate is well above the ¥1.3 trillion the central government has so far earmarked for decontamination in the prefecture and other radiation-tainted areas.
The estimate does not include outlays to build final disposal sites for soil and debris tainted with radioactive substances from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The research group said it hopes that the estimate will be used to review decontamination programs and to consider plans to let nuclear evacuees return to their homes.
Cleaning up highly polluted areas near the plant is estimated to cost the central government between ¥1.83 trillion and ¥2.03 trillion.
In areas where local municipalities are in charge, the cost is estimated at between ¥700 billion and ¥3.1 trillion.
Costs could further rise for storing irradiated materials because details for interim storage facilities have yet to be worked out, according to the group.