Ibaraki to change nuke tax amid shutdown

Kyodo

The Ibaraki Prefectural Government plans to change its nuclear fuel tax system to secure revenue even though reactors remain shut down in light of the Fukushima disaster, sources said Thursday.

With the change, the prefecture expects to collect ¥8.8 billion in nuclear fuel taxes over the next five years.

Such revenue plunged to about ¥600 million a year from ¥1.1 billion with the suspension of the prefecture’s lone commercial reactor due to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster.

The prefecture hosts Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tokai No. 2 power plant in the village of Tokai.

The prefectural government currently bases its levies chiefly on the cost of fuel rods inserted into reactors but is studying new taxes based on a reactor’s heat output and the volume of spent nuclear fuel and plutonium stored at nuclear power stations, while cutting the rate on nuclear fuel, the sources said.