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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Govt. subsidies for Fukushima questioned

Jul. 30, 2014
There is more controversy over dealing with the aftermath of the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

NHK has learned the government notified the prefecture of a plan to provide a subsidy of more than 2.2 billion dollars, over 30 years for regional development. The pledge is connected with the construction of temporary storage facilities for highly radioactive waste.

Sources say the central government last week conveyed its idea to the Fukushima prefectural government and others.

The central government had been discussing with local municipalities a plan to purchase the land needed to build temporary storage facilities for radioactive debris.

The arrangement calls for the facilities to be built in the towns of Futaba and Okuma, which host the Daiichi plant.

Sources also say the government at the same time indicated that it would stop paying subsidies for the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant. Local people are calling for it to be decommissioned. The Daini plant, located 10 kilometers south of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi, has been offline since the 2011 disaster.

The government's new plan would reduce the annual subsidies total for Fukushima by nearly 40 million dollars.

The Fukushima prefectural government has reacted sharply. Local officials are complaining of the new burden of the temporary storage facilities.
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