An industry group has estimated costs for decontamination work at the disaster-struck Fukushima nuclear plant and compensation for nuclear damage to be around ¥8 trillion ($77.10 billion) more than the current official projection, a source said Thursday.
The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, which consists of the country’s 10 electric power companies, has informally asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to use state funds to cover the extra costs, the source also said.
The costs are supposed to be covered by the utilities, including Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, where three reactors melted down in the aftermath of the March 2011 quake-tsunami disaster. The government is cautious about using taxpayer money to deal with the issue, the source said.
Under the current estimate, compensation payments are projected to total ¥5.4 trillion, while decontamination costs are forecast to reach ¥2.5 trillion.
Tepco and other nuclear power plant operators have paid contributions for compensation payments to a state-backed fund. As for decontamination costs, the fund will seek to retrieve that money by selling Tepco shares that it owns.