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Fukushima Hot Springs Town to Build Geothermal Plant After Quake

Hot springs operators in Tsuchiyu, a town about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Fukushima’s stricken nuclear station in Japan, plan to build a geothermal power plant as part of recovery efforts, a local group said.

The plant will have capacity of as much as 250 kilowatts and cost 300 million yen ($3.8 million), Kazuya Ikeda, secretary-general of the Yuyu Tsuchiyu Onsen Cooperative Union, whose 55 members include hot springs and store operators, said today in a phone interview. Operations at the binary plant may start as early as December 2013, he said.

The proposed plant is part of reconstruction efforts for local hot springs following last year’s record earthquake and tsunami, Ikeda said. Five of the 16 hot springs operators in Tsuchiyu closed after the disaster. Electricity from the plant will be sold to Tohoku Electric Power Co., he said.

Capacity at the plant may be expanded to as much as 1,000 kilowatts, Ikeda said.

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