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Japan faces ballooning bill to deal with Fukushima meltdowns

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Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor was damaged five years ago, after a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed 16,000 people. It leaked radiation into the water off Japan.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s bill for dismantling the Fukushima nuclear plant is ballooning beyond the utility’s estimate of 2 trillion yen ($19 billion).

A government study released Tuesday found decommissioning the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant had already cost 80 billion yen ($770 million) over the last three years.

The plant suffered multiple reactor meltdowns due to damage from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The ministry overseeing nuclear power said the decommissioning costs will continue at several hundreds of billions of yen (billions of dollars) a year.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., has said decommissioning will take several decades.

Japan has been struggling to clean up parts of the no-go zone to put the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl behind it.