Japan unveils plans to clean up Fukushima
Japan has unveiled plans to control the spread of radioactive water stemming from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant, giving the Japanese government formal responsibility alongside Tepco for cleaning up the mess.
On Tuesday, the country's officials revealed two projects designed to contain the aftermath of one of the world's worst nuclear disasters, which will cost emergency disbursement of ¥21 billion ($212 million) in government funding and an overall total of ¥47 billion.
The first project will be to contain the damaged reactors with a ring of subterranean ice.
The second project will be the construction of a second processing plant to filter radioactive particles from contaminated water, as well as the creation of an office to gather officials in one place to cope with the problem.
"The government, in a break from the impromptu measures of the past, has put together a basic plan in an effort to fundamentally resolve the contaminated water leaks,'" Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting on the disaster.
The Japanese president also pledged to provide the "necessary funds" to deal with the contamination, approximately a month after plant operator and energy provider Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said hundreds of tons of contaminated water was likely entering the sea every day.
In response, Mr. Abe said the country's government would take control of the issue.
Tepco reported new radiation hotspots at four locations near tanks holding contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant this week, raising fresh health concerns which have already suspended fishing activity close to the plant's location -- as well as queries as to whether the firm can handle the clean up process alone.
Tepco has spent roughly ¥960 billion so far to contain contamination at the plant, and over ¥5 trillion on fossil fuels to fill the energy gap since the shutdown of all of its plants. Last year, the Japanese government gave Tepco a ¥1 trillion ($10 billion) capital injection to clean up the contamination.
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