Decontamination Waste Disposal 'to Cost $3.7 Bil.'

Decontamination waste disposal 'to cost $3.7 bil.'

NHK has learned that it will cost more than 400 billion yen, or about 3.7 billion dollars, to dispose of waste produced by the decontamination work for the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

The decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture is expected to produce 14 million cubic meters of waste such as soil and plants.

A law stipulates that these materials will have to be disposed of outside the prefecture by 2045.

The cost estimate by a group of researchers is based on the assumption that more than 90 percent of the decontamination waste will be recycled in public works and other projects.

The researchers say that 8 percent of the waste needs to be disposed of at a cost of at least 3.7 billion dollars. This figure includes the construction of disposal sites and transportation.

They say the cost will increase if the waste is not fully recycled.

The study was led by Osako Masahiro, director of the Center for Material Cycles and Waste Management Research of Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies.

Osako says renewed efforts are needed 10 years after the disaster to work on the issue of final disposal and recycling as a challenge for the people of Japan.