Where is the money to clean up Fukushima?

The Washington Post recently reported on the excess of water at Fukushima.   There had been a plan to keep the ground water out of the plant, but:

Tepco also declined a June 2011 request from Mabuchi, the lawmaker and adviser to the prime minister, to build a special wall extending 100 feet underground around the reactor and turbine buildings, sealing them off from the groundwater flow. Tepco initially agreed to the project, Mabuchi said, but backed out because of concerns about the estimated cost of 100 ­billion yen, or $1 billion.    “We are already in a very severe financial situation,” Tepco wrote to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in a letter shared with The Washington Post. “And by taking on an additional 100 billion yen, the market could evaluate that we are one step closer to insolvency. That is something we’d like to avoid.”

The report says that containing the contaminated water is the biggest problem and goes on to say that:

Some activists say Tepco should be allowed to go bankrupt, with the government taking full control of the Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning. But bankruptcy would cause “just one more disaster,” this one economic, said Mana Nakazora, a Tokyo-based chief credit analyst at BNP Paribas. Bankruptcy might have been conceivable in the months immediately after the disaster, but Tepco has since been kept afloat with emergency loans from banks and cash injections from the government — debts that, if not paid, would rock Japan’s financial system.

The article puts the cost of clean up to be $100 billion over 40 years.   No one wants to pay for this.   TEPCO cannot, because they do not have the money.   The government does not want to pick up the tab, because the  public will be upset.   It seems that it is now very difficult to say that nuclear energy is affordable.

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