By Mari Iwata and Toko Sekiguchi
TOKYO -- Japan on Tuesday unveiled its strategy for dealing with an increasingly out-of-control spread of radioactive water at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant, in a move that for the first time gives the national government direct responsibility for cleaning up one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.
The strategy calls for government funding for projects aimed at reducing the amount of contaminated water at the plant. The projects include a plan to ring the damaged reactors with a subterranean wall of ice and the construction of a second processing plant to filter radioactive particles out of water. The two projects will cost around 47 billion yen ($475 million), said Japan's chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga.
"The government, in a break from the impromptu measures of the past, has put together a basic plan in an effort to fundamentally resolve the contaminated water leaks," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a news conference after a top government committee meeting. Mr. Abe pledged to provide the "necessary funds" to tackle the water containment.
The strategy comes about a month after Mr. Abe said the country would step in to take charge of Fukushima Daiichi's water problems, following plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s admission that hundreds of tons of contaminated groundwater was likely flowing into the sea every day.
((Read more of this story from The Wall Street Journal at WSJ:com http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432404579051820694902360.html?KEYWORDS=fukushima.)).
-Mari Iwata and Toko Sekiguchi; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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09-03-13 0030ETCopyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.