Japan readies additional $30 billion for Fukushima cleanup: sources

Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:58am EST

Norio Horiuchi, an evacuee from the town of Tomioka, near the tsunami-crippled Daiichi nuclear power plant, speaks during an interview with Reuters in his unit in a temporary housing estate, where 200 former Tomioka town residents also have been evacuated to, in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture November 8, 2013. REUTERS/Sophie Knight

Norio Horiuchi, an evacuee from the town of Tomioka, near the tsunami-crippled Daiichi nuclear power plant, speaks during an interview with Reuters in his unit in a temporary housing estate, where 200 former Tomioka town residents also have been evacuated to, in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture November 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sophie Knight

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(Reuters) - Japan's government is finalizing plans to borrow an additional 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) to pay for compensating Fukushima evacuees and cleaning up the area outside the wrecked nuclear plant, people with knowledge of the situation say.

The additional borrowing would mark both a recognition of the project's mounting costs and the difficulty of hitting the initial targets for reducing radiation levels in the towns and villages hardest hit by fallout from the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The new government borrowing program would increase the amount earmarked for Fukushima-related expenses to the equivalent of just over $80 billion from about $50 billion, according to government officials with knowledge of the developing plan who asked not to be named.

That $80 billion excludes the cost of decommissioning Fukushima's six reactors, a process expected to take 30 years or more.

(Reporting By Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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