A private think tank says the total cost of the Fukushima disaster could reach ¥70 trillion ($626 billion), or more than three times the government’s latest estimate.
In a study Saturday, the Japan Center for Economic Research said costs of dealing with the heavily damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. could rise to between ¥50 trillion and ¥70 trillion.
In December, the government estimated the costs would reach roughly ¥22 trillion.
“If costs rise, the public burden could greatly increase. The country’s nuclear policy needs to be reviewed,” JCER said.
The government’s initial expectations pegged the costs at ¥11 trillion.
But a study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that the final figure could turn out to be double the sum estimated in 2013.
Following that, the government decided to raise electricity rates to secure the money needed to cover compensation payments to the evacuees.