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Fukushima decommissioning costs to soar

Fukushima decommissioning costs to soar thumbnail

The combined costs of paying compensation for the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the decommissioning of the plant’s reactors may be double the initial estimate, rising to more than 20 trillion yen ($176 billion), according to estimates by the country’s industry ministry.

At the end of 2013, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry calculated the cost at 11 trillion yen, which has since become the government’s official estimate.

As electric companies other than Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled plant, will also pass part of the cost on to consumers through higher rates, an increase in the public burden is unavoidable.

According to multiple sources, the ministry has already conveyed its new estimates to members of its expert panel, which is in discussions on reforming the management structure at Tepco and measures to secure funds.

The ministry aims to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Finance during planned discussions over the expansion of an interest-free loan program from 9 trillion yen to support Tepco.

The 11-trillion estimates foresaw 5.4 trillion yen for compensation payments; 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination work; 1.1 trillion yen for the construction of interim radioactive waste storage facilities; and 2 trillion yen secured by Tepco to scrap the reactors.

The new estimates see compensation payments costing 8 trillion yen and 4-5 trillion yen for decontamination.

The cost of decommissioning reactors — a process which will span at least 30-40 years — are projected to swell to hundreds of billions of yen a year from the current 80 billion. That would add several trillion yen to the overall cost.

Combined with the cost of building interim storage facilities, the total cost is forecast to exceed 20 trillion yen.

The snowballing costs are due mainly to the expansion of the number of people eligible for damages and the difficulty of conducting decontamination work, neither of which was fully understood when the initial estimates were made.

As conditions inside the reactors gradually become clear ahead of the retrieval of fuel debris scheduled for early in the 2020s, it is becoming increasingly certain that decommissioning will cost more than 2 trillion yen.

Asian Review


27 Comments on "Fukushima decommissioning costs to soar"

  1. peakyeast on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 3:52 pm 

    I trust they calculated these expenses into the total budget when they made these nuclear power plants in the first place.

    Could be interesting to see what difference it does in the electricity price in Japan over the lifetime of the nukes.

  2. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 5:07 pm 

    Go on down to the Indian Reservation.

    To the fireworks stand. Get yourself 6
    of them big jumbo Hydrogen Fusion bombs,
    the ones in the big box with the red white and blue ribbons.

    Set ’em up 1 next to each of them Fukushima nukyalur reactors. Rig ’em to all blow up
    at the exact same time. Wait for the wind to be blowin towards North Korea.

    Don’t forget to sell tickets and setup some bleachers. And them dark
    goggles make money on selling a few thousand of those too.

    KA BOOM and the whole thing is all disappeared,
    and even swept your driveway clean for ya.

    Only casualty is all them welfare checks to
    all them goof off shovel-leaners who was
    pretendin to clean it up, ya right, uhh huuh.

    In just a few short years the lagoon will be cooled
    down enough to setup Gilligan’s Island palm
    trees and bamboo & coconut huts to sell
    souvenir trinkets. And there will be
    rented speed boats to check out the pretty
    blue water, that has a pretty blue glow at night.

    And if ya wait about 10 years, the scuba divers can start lookin around, findin old pieces of copper wire and stuff.

    So that’s how ya clean up Fukushima, Donald Trump style.

  3. james-boags on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 5:30 pm 

    Rotfl speed

  4. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 7:16 pm 


  5. Alice Friedemann on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 8:23 pm 

    Here’s the start of my post on decommissioning power plants from a 2912 NewScientist article at :

    By the start of 2012, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, 138 commercial power reactors had been permanently shut down with at least 80 expected to join the queue for decommissioning in the coming decade – more if other governments join Germany in deciding to phase out nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year.

    And yet, so far, only 17 of these have been dismantled and made permanently safe. That’s because decommissioning is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

    A standard American or French-designed pressurised water reactor (PWR) – the most common reactor design now in operation – will produce more than 100,000 tonnes of waste, about a tenth of it significantly radioactive, including the steel reactor vessel, control rods, piping and pumps. Decommissioning just a single one generally costs up to half a billion dollars.

    Decommissioning Germany’s Soviet-designed power plant at Greifswald produced more than half a million tonnes of radioactive waste. The UK’s 26 gas-cooled Magnox reactors produce similar amounts and will eventually cost up to a billion dollars each to decommission. That’s because they weren’t designed with decommissioning in mind.

  6. Anonymous on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 8:24 pm 

    “Fukushima decommissioning costs to soar”

    Bet you didnt see that coming did ya?

    Btw, when did it get downgraded to ‘de-commissioning’? Its a clean up, of a najor nuclear disaster. Decom implies a normal, planned shutdown. Those are difficult enough. Fuk, not a planned shutdown lol.

  7. Sissyfuss on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 9:42 pm 

    Alice, did you read the previous article,
    “Donald Trump considering Donald Hoffman as Secretary of Donald, I mean Energy”? Ties in nicely with your response.

  8. Apneaman on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 9:51 pm 

    10 Devastating Radiation Accidents They Never Tell You About

  9. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 2:32 am 

    Hey there Alice’s Restaurant,
    Instead of spending half a Billion dollars
    decommissioning a nuclear reactor,
    just dump cement on it.
    About 300 grand otta do it.

    Of course, future inhabitants of the earth will wonder whats this giant mount of dog doo sitting there for millenia. But we had the pyramids …
    Well we could also cast the concrete into the shape of a big pyramid. Right? But that would still only cost about $3 or $4 Million tops. Not half a billion.

  10. Shortend on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 4:16 am 

    A couple of clicks on the computer mouse at the BOJ and all costs are covered….NEXT!

  11. Apneaman on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 11:44 am 

    Brown water, beaver battle among early signs of water woes

    “Though water shortages have yet to drastically change most people’s lifestyles, southerners are beginning to realize that they’ll need to save their drinking supplies with no end in sight to an eight-month drought.
    Already, watering lawns and washing cars is restricted in some parts of the South, and more severe water limits loom if long-range forecasts of below-normal rain hold true through the rest of 2016.
    The drought arrived without warning in Chris Benson’s bathroom last week in Griffin, Georgia.
    “My son noticed it when he went to take his bath for the evening,” said Benson, 43. “The water was kind of a light brown color and after we ran it for a while, it actually looked like a light-colored tea. A little disturbing.”
    The problem was that Griffin’s reservoir is nearly 8 feet below normal, leaving “a high level of manganese” in the remaining water, but not making it unsafe, city officials told residents in a Nov. 16 “water discoloration update.”

    “The drought arrived without warning…”

    No the warnings about drought and all the other consequences of AGW went public big time in 1988 when James Hansen addressed congress.

    Global Warming 20 Years Later (June 23, 2008) – 2:17

    Literally thousands of warnings in the 29 years since then and tons of evidence and consequences. No one in the wealthy educated countries has any excuse and are going to have to suffer the consequences. We own it.

  12. Shortend on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 12:32 pm 

    These wealthy educated crowd falsely believe their money will protect them….boy are they in for a rude awaking, AP, and the sad part is they will be still steadfast in their refusal to admit they own it!

  13. Mark on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 1:16 pm 

    Does anyone know where the melted down cores to these are? A big blog under the ruins of the containment buildings?

  14. Alice Friedemann on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 1:17 pm 

    Go Speed Racer, have you seen my article “A century from now concrete will be nothing but rubble”

    Or read the tests that need to be done to make sure nuclear waste will be contained for a million years in Alley’s book “Too hot to touch, the problems of high-level nuclear waste”?

    CO2 will decline sometime between now and 2030 due to the net energy cliff, so the real damage long-term is leaving piles of million year waste and thousands of years of other toxic wastes for the grandchildren and beyond to inherit. No way will we lift a finger to do anything once energy declines, oil will be rationed to agriculture and no doubt the military to fight wars over the remaining drops of oil.

  15. Hubert on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 1:45 pm 

    Only way of solving this problem is controlled Nuclear Explosion.Japan needs to face reality. Make it happen.

  16. meld on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 2:35 pm 

    You know what, there is a simple way to do away with Nuclear forever. Basically anybody who wants energy generated from Nuclear can do so freely as long as they

    A) sign up to be the first responders to go in and clear up when there is a meltdown

    B) Have the waste buried on their premises.

    We’ll see how many people are pro nuclear then.

  17. peakyeast on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 3:09 pm 

    @Alice: Thanks for a very interesting article. I much enjoyed reading it.

    During the WW2 Germany built a number of cement bunkers along the west coast of Denmark which is a very hostile environment. These bunkers remained fairly intact until the Danish civil defence decided to try to blow them up. They didnt succeed and the scarred bunkers were left there for a number of years. Now they are starting to be removed again by being hammered to pieces instead of blow up which was impossible.

    But that is quite some time they lasted. Many of them half submerged in the ocean some years after the war.


    If you look at the pictures you will see that the concrete is completely intact. Of course there are big piece everywhere, but they have been blown off by explosives trying to remove them.

  18. peakyeast on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 3:13 pm 

    More pictures…

    When I said hostile environment I am not only thinking about the salty ocean, but also the alternating frost/thaw cycle which can happen upto a 50-100 times a year.

    Look at them.. Hardly a scratch on many of them.

  19. peakyeast on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 3:27 pm 

    considering they have been there for about 70 years. Many of the “scratches” are there for camouflage or because of tourists, demolition attempts or experimentation with hammering them to pieces.

  20. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 5:57 pm 

    Wait a minnit. It can’t be that concrete disappears in 100 years. Does it have an alarm clock hooked to all the molecules?

    97 years … 98 years … 99 years …
    100 years !!! RINNNGG !!!
    The conrete turns to dust. Wow! Specially if its a dam.

    In reality … water makes concrete stronger, it keeps curing. After a couple hundred years yeah, there is erosion, yeah.
    But it still erodes gradually. The whole structure doesn’t disappear all in a day.

    So putting a pyramid shaped concrete monolith over top a nuclear reactor, is Okey dokey by me.

    Or nuke the nuke with a nuke. Blow it up with a nuclear bomb. Fun for the whole family. Use only under adult supervision (in a coastline area, with wind blowing to sea).

  21. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 6:02 pm 

    Hi Sleep Apnea,
    Wow that sounds yucky, brown water.

    Good news, now that Trump will make America Great Again, he’s gonna top off all those empty water reservoirs, starting with Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Yessir, fill it right back up. It was them no good dumb stupid liberals had emptied out the reservoir, wringing their hands together about their stupid liberal causes, and then thanks to them there was not enough water in the river, but now that the Republicans have got the house senate and presidency… all that brown water in the taps should go back to normal.

    Yee haw we gonna be speed boating in Lake Mead again, and wet T-shirt contests all the bikini gals all frolicking in the water.
    And they’ll be good looking too, thanks to President Trump making America great again.

    Relax and enjoy the ride.

  22. peakyeast on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 6:15 pm 

    @GSR: Dont get too happy. I wouldnt bath there since he will personally refill them while relieving himself.

  23. makati1 on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 6:27 pm 

    Go Speed, if there is steel in the concrete it breaks up rather fast. 100 years would see a pile of concrete rubble intermixed with very rusty rebar and steel. Roman concrete survives to this day because it never had rebar in it to rut and expand. ALL of man’s monuments will be gone under a pile of rubble growing a forest above it, in less than 100 years after we stop maintaining them.

    Nuke a nuke plant? LOL

    Does insanity run in your family, or are you the exception?

  24. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 8:01 pm 

    LOL Peak Yeast… ya the water brown cause Trump dumped in it. (O;

    Hi Makita,
    I read the article about the concrete. It presumed all the rebar will rust. I know enough to be dangerous… poured my own foundation. And I recycled some concrete too.

    Anyway if the rebar rusts, cracks loose the concrete above, its called “SPALLING”.

    If ya wanna prove I am right, do a Google images search on ‘Spalling’.

    HOWEVER, this is a known issue, and there are defensive plays. One of the solutions is stainless steel rebar. If you go surfing on that, you’ll find there are projects with stainless steel rebar. HOWEVER the rebar is very very expensive since stainless is spendy, but iron is cheap.

    People always looking for a middle pathway, a lot of the projects nowadays use a ‘coated rebar’. And if ya do a Google Image search on ‘Coated Rebar’ then you’ll see what its all about. So the guy who is doiong the project, he chooses which type of rebar he wants, to get a good lifespan of the project.

    Cause I just showed ya 3 levels of rebar
    a. Plain old iron rebar
    b. epoxy coated rebar
    c. stainless steel rebar.

    These can do a lot to avoid concrete deterioration.

    Lastly…. if you build a concretebridge but put it inside of a rock cavern where it is dry and dark, then I’m sure you would agree it wont deteriorate not even until 4 billion years and the sun blows up KER BOOM in a big ole supernova, taking the concrete bridge with it.

    So how long the concrete lasts depends entirely on how much exposure it got to the elements, plus if the materials were chosen correctly.

    We’re not really disagreeing on anything cause I see the crumbling infrastructure. Nowadays USA Trump voting whitey is so tattoo’d and dumb, he is incapable of maintaining an existing structure, he’s only smart enough to blow it up with dynamite, and then follow the directions to pour new concrete for the new structure.

    Proper maintenance is hard work, I don’t see it happening in today’s dumbed down Amoorika.

  25. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 8:03 pm 

    Hmmm Insanity … Well my brother ran away from home and became Racer X.

    Pops is always throwing a tantrum in between welding sessions on the new hot rod. Trixie flies around in a helicopter.

    I guess it runs in the family. (O;

    If ya wanna nuke the nuke, try it you’ll like it.

    Ya gotta keep in mind, explosives are for doing a whole lot of work, in a very short time.

  26. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 27th Nov 2016 8:10 pm 

    Here is some Monkey Business

    They shoulda thrown him off the plane, but they didn’t.

  27. Alice Friedemann on Mon, 28th Nov 2016 1:05 pm 

    If you want a good idea of what will happen to our infrastructure in the future after it is abandoned, read Alan Weisman’s “The world without us”.

    Most affected are roads. Freeways only last 20 years, asphalt highways 10 without repairs. This is mainly due to heavy trucks. Buildings last longer since their rebar and steel are not pounded by vehicles and protected by building surfaces.

    It is a shame we aren’t unpaving since letting roads fall apart on their own makes them last even less time

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