Tepco to get added support; state to shoulder 30-year interim waste storage

In its fiscal 2014 budget plan revealed Tuesday, the government will provide additional support to Tokyo Electric Power Co. in line with recently adopted guidelines to accelerate Tepco’s sluggish recovery from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant catastrophe that started in 2011.

Projects to support Tepco include the construction of interim storage facilities for waste generated by radiation cleanup activities outside the damaged complex, for which the government plans to earmark ¥101.2 billion for fiscal 2014.

The government has estimated that construction and management of interim waste storage facilities will total ¥1.1 trillion. Tepco was originally to shoulder these costs, but the state in the new guidelines opted to fund the 30-year project.

An Environment Ministry official said about half of the ¥101 billion allocated for the next fiscal year is to be used to buy land for the facilities, and the remaining half for their design and construction.

The government is stepping up efforts to prepare the facilities as their absence is seen as one of the reasons behind the delay in decontamination activities in Fukushima Prefecture.