• Kyodo

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The city of Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, will deliberate on a bill to tax spent nuclear fuel stored at an atomic plant in the city.

The bill was presented to the municipal assembly Monday. If approved, the city will be the second local government to tax such fuel, following Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, which endorsed a similar ordinance in March.

The city assembly hopes to pass the tax before the end of next month.

Pending an agreement with the home affairs ministry, the city, home to Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power plant, plans to start levying the tax in fiscal 2004.

Revenue from the tax will be used to step up disaster preparedness measures and publicity campaigns for nuclear power, according to city assembly members.

The bill envisions imposing a 500 yen per kg tax on nuclear fuel, which is projected to generate around 1.26 billion yen in tax revenues in the five years from fiscal 2004, according to the assembly members.

Kashiwazaki, despite passing its ordinance, has not gained cooperation from the designated taxpayer, Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.

The city has been holding talks with the nation’s largest utility with the hope of imposing the tax beginning in October.

Sendai, however, has already gained Kyushu Electric’s consent on the tax.

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