Tepco had effectively refused to cover the costs and only paid around 1.7 billion yen, or 2 percent of the total amount so far, saying it had yet to confirm whether it was legally liable for such payments.
However, Tepco has now conveyed to the Environment Ministry its intention of paying around 43 billion yen, or nearly 60% percent of the costs that the ministry had asked it to cover, in response to the ministry's repeated calls. The utility is also considering whether to pay the remainder, the sources said.
A law enacted following the triple reactor meltdowns in March 2011 stipulates that Tepco bears the responsibility of paying for all decontamination work, such as removal of radioactive soil and other waste. Under the current program, the central government first shoulders the cost of cleanup work conducted by municipalities and Tepco later reimburses the expenses.
The utility's planned reimbursement will concern cleanup work conducted by municipalities in Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate and several other prefectures.
Tepco has paid more than 90 percent of the around 128.5 billion yen spent on decontamination work conducted directly by the central government in heavily contaminated areas close to the Fukushima Daiichi power station.