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Japan To Set Up Panel On Fukushima N-Plant Decommissioning

Last update: 21/09/2016
TOKYO, Sept 21 (Bernama) -- Japan's industry ministry said Tuesday that it will set up a committee to consider financial support for the decommissioning of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Japan's Jiji Press reported that the committee will start discussions early in October.

It will draft proposals by the end of this year and write a final report by March 31, or the end of the current fiscal year.

Depending on discussions at the committee, decommissioning costs, which Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) currently plans to cover by itself, could cause financial burdens on taxpayers as well.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) thus aims to have the committee discuss the matter from wide perspectives so that its conclusion will win public understanding.

As part of the efforts, the ministry has picked prominent business leaders as members of the committee.

They include Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, or Keizai Doyukai.

Triple reactor meltdowns occurred at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after it was damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The 10-member committee will also include university professors, with TEPCO joining as an observer.

It will also discuss strict structural reforms for TEPCO to avoid providing an easy bailout to the company.

The panel's proposals will be reflected in an update to TEPCO's comprehensive business plan, due out possibly early next year.

The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, and public-private body Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. will jointly serve as the secretariat of the committee.

The ministry also said that it will form a subcommittee under its Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy to consider costs for decommissioning nuclear power plants across the country.

The subcommittee will also discuss ways to promote electricity market reforms.

METI Minister Hiroshige Seko told a press conference that he wants the two new panels to conduct thorough discussions on what will have major impacts on the country's industry and economy.


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