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Fukushima cost estimate set to swell to $188bn

Government to have independent power suppliers foot part of bill

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered damage from a tsunami that followed a major earthquake in March 2011.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government's estimate of the total cost of compensating victims of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and scrapping the plant's reactors will nearly double Friday to 21.5 trillion yen ($188 billion).

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will peg compensation costs at 7.9 trillion yen, up from 5.4 trillion yen. Projected decommissioning expenses will surge to 8 trillion yen from 2 trillion yen, while the cost of decontaminating affected areas is seen rising to 4 trillion yen from 2.5 trillion yen. The estimated price tag of interim storage facilities to hold tainted soil is being bumped up to 1.6 trillion yen from 1.1 trillion yen.

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