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Fukushima $70 Billion Cleanup Leaves Foreign Firms Dry

  • Most Fukushima contracts have gone to Japanese companies
  • Decommissioning the nuclear plant seen costing 8 trillion yen
Corrected

Cleaning up the Fukushima nuclear plant -- a task predicted to cost 86 times the amount earmarked for decommissioning Japan’s first commercial reactor -- is the mother of all salvage jobs. Still, foreign firms with decades of experience are seeing little of the spoils.

Safely dismantling the Japanese power plant, wrecked by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, will cost about 8 trillion yen ($68 billion), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Dec. 9, quadrupling the previous estimate. While a contract to help clean up the facility would be a windfall for any firm with specialized technology, the lion’s share of the work has gone to local companies that designed and built most of Japan’s atomic infrastructure.