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Fukushima cleanup could cost up to $250 billion
A private think tank says the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could cost Japan up to 250 billion dollars over the next 10 years. The estimate is part of the Nuclear Safety Commission's ongoing survey of opinions on the disaster from nuclear and other experts. Kazumasa Iwata, president of the Japan Center for Economic Research, gave the estimate on Tuesday. He said the costs of the accident could range from nearly 71 to 250 billion dollars. The figure includes 54 billion to buy up all land within 20 kilometers of the plant, 8 billion for compensation payments to local residents, and 9 to 188 billion to scrap the plant's reactors.

Iwata said a drastic review of the government's nuclear energy policy is necessary to fund the cleanup.

He said the government could channel about 71 billion dollars to the necessary fund over the next decade by freezing research and development projects linked to the nuclear fuel cycle.

Another 150 billion could come from Tokyo Electric Power Company's reserve fund, and the government's nuclear energy-related budgets.

The Nuclear Safety Commission plans to continue interviewing experts over the coming months, and to incorporate outside ideas in future debates on nuclear energy.

(TheFreedom2choose, Jun 01)

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