Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. will need 1.76 trillion yen in additional funds to meet overhead costs related to a new nuclear reprocessing plant in the village of Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, sources said Monday.
This estimated amount is on top of the previously stated 2.14 trillion yen required to build the facility, which will be Japan’s first commercial nuclear reprocessing plant.
JNFL, set up in 1980 by nine major electrical utilities, Japan Atomic Power Co. and other firms, has thus far only publicized the estimate cost of building the plant.
But now that additional costs have been disclosed, they will probably be passed on to consumers in the form of future electricity charges, industry analysts said.
According to the sources, the 1.76 trillion yen overhead cost estimate will cover personnel expenses, interest payments, depreciation and repairs for a period of 15 years after the plant is completed in 2005.
The estimate does not include the costs of nuclear-reprocessing activities.
The figure was presented to the nine utilities by top JNFL officials at a meeting in December, they said.
The nine utilities in question and Japan Atomic Power have already paid JNFL 1.1 trillion yen, of which 100 billion yen is being used to build the plant and 1 trillion yen to cover future nuclear-reprocessing costs.
The firms also put up the majority of JNFL’s capital, which stands at 170 billion yen.
Japan operates 51 commercial reactors. They supply about one-third of the nation’s electrical power.
The reprocessing plant, which will be capable of reprocessing some 800 tons of spent nuclear fuel a year, is to start operations in July 2005.
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