Japan doubles cost estimate for Fukushima cleanup

A Japanese government panel says an estimate of the total costs to clean up the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has doubled to nearly 22 trillion yen ($190 billion), with decommissioning costs expected to continue to rise.

The estimate released Friday raises the decommissioning part of the total costs to 8 trillion yen ($70 billion) from the current 2 trillion ($17.5 billion) because of surging labor and construction costs. Panel officials said the numbers could grow as experts learn more about the damage to the plant's reactors and determine fuel removal methods. Costs for compensation, decontamination of the area and waste storage have also grown significantly.

The plant suffered multiple meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Officials said its decommissioning will take several decades.