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State expands scope of subsidy recipients for nuclear plants via Japan Today

The state has expanded the scope of subsidy recipients from those hosting nuclear power plants to local governments located within 30 kilometers of them, a government official said, in a suspected bid to earn support for the restart of nuclear complexes.

The change in the subsidy system from fiscal 2017 starting April was not announced by the industry ministry to the press, fueling speculation that it is meant to assuage the concerns of many municipalities surrounding the host local governments about the restart of nuclear power plants suspended in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

But the official at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry denied the speculation, saying, “It is not for the purpose of gaining support for restarting operations at nuclear plants.”

[…]

With the change in the scheme, more than 150 local governments are entitled to the subsidy, for which 4.5 billion yen ($40 million) was allocated in the fiscal 2017 budget, the same amount as in fiscal 2016. For fiscal 2018, the ministry has requested a budget of 5 billion yen.

According to the agency, the subsidy program started in fiscal 2016 to mainly promote renewable energy and support other measures to revitalize the economies of local municipalities hosting nuclear power plants when decisions are made to scrap reactors due to old age.

[…]

But the state and utilities are reluctant to expand the scope of municipalities from which they need to obtain consent as doing so would raise the bar in restarting nuclear power plants.

Read more at State expands scope of subsidy recipients for nuclear plants 

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