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Fukui Prefecture plans tax on spent nuclear fuel

FUKUI – The Fukui Prefectural Government is planning to submit an ordinance to an assembly session next month that calls for a tax on spent nuclear fuel stored at nuclear plants in the prefecture, informed sources said Thursday.

The ordinance is aimed at encouraging nuclear plant operators to transfer spent fuel outside the prefecture, the sources said.

It will propose a tax of ¥1,000 per kilogram of spent nuclear fuel that has been cooled for over five years at storage pools and is ready to be relocated.

If the ordinance is passed by the assembly, the prefecture will put it into effect on Nov. 10 after receiving approval from the internal affairs minister.

Fukui will become the first prefecture to tax spent nuclear fuel. Among municipalities, the city of Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, has a spent nuclear fuel tax. Kashiwazaki and the neighboring village of Kariwa host Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.

The Fukui Prefectural Government currently collects nuclear fuel tax from power companies based on thermal output of nuclear reactors at their facilities. Its annual revenue from the tax stands at some ¥6 billion.

The planned new tax is estimated to increase the prefecture’s annual tax revenue by about ¥3 billion, the sources said.

The ordinance will also call for expanding the scope of reactors subject to the existing tax to include those in the decommissioning process — the first such move by a local government in Japan, the sources said.

Currently, local governments cannot impose such nuclear fuel tax on reactors for which the Nuclear Regulation Authority has approved decommissioning.

Noting that safety measures are necessary as long as radioactive materials remain, an official of the Fukui Prefectural Government’s tax division said that the prefecture aims to keep imposing tax until decommissioning is completed.

The amount of the existing nuclear fuel tax will be halved for reactors in the decommissioning process, the sources said.

Among reactors in Fukui, decisions for decommissioning have been made for the No. 1 unit at Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga plant, the No. 1 and No. 2 units at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama plant, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Fugen advanced converter reactor.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/19/national/social-issues/fukui-prefecture-plans-tax-spent-nuclear-fuel/#.Vz4HH4bnTCy.facebook

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May 19, 2016 - Posted by | Japan | ,

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