The government approved Thursday a plan by the city of Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, to tax spent nuclear fuel left by a local power plant, and handed over a letter of consent to Sendai Mayor Takuro Mori.

The approval by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry allows the city to introduce the nation’s first local tax on spent nuclear fuel.

The Sendai Municipal Government will tax spent nuclear fuel from a Kyushu Electric Power Co. power plant at a rate of of 500 yen per kg beginning fiscal 2004.

The city expects the tax to bring in 1.26 billion yen in tax revenue over five years.

The city of Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, plans to impose a similar tax.

Both cities plan to use the revenues to increase nuclear safety measures.

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