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TOKYO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said on Friday it has nearly doubled its projections for costs related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster including decommissioning and compensation to 21.5 trillion yen ($188.40 billion).
In 2013, the ministry had calculated the cost at 11 trillion yen comprising 5.4 trillion yen for compensation, 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination, 2 trillion yen to decommission the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co, and 1.1 trillion yen for a facility to store contaminated soil.
The new estimate calls for 7.9 trillion yen for compensation, 4 trillion yen for decontamination, 8 trillion yen for decommissioning, and 1.6 trillion yen for the interim storage facility, the ministry said in a statement.
Three reactors melted down at the plant after a magnitude 9 earthquake in March 2011, which caused a tsunami that devastated a large section of Japan's northeastern coastline. ($1 = 114.1200 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)