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Cabinet approves bill on nuke storage

October 3, 2014

Cabinet approves bill on Fukushima waste disposal


Oct. 3, 2014 - Updated 05:28 UTC+2

The Abe Cabinet approved a bill on Friday that will ensure that radioactive soil and other waste stored in Fukushima Prefecture is removed within 30 years.

The move follows a demand from local communities near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that have agreed to temporarily store contaminated soil and other waste. The facilities are to be built in Futaba and Okuma towns.

The bill obliges the central government to ensure that the waste is safely stored, and that it is moved to a final disposal site outside the prefecture within 30 years.

It calls on the government to consider new technologies that might lower the concentration of radioactive substances in the soil and to reuse the waste before final disposal.

The bill revises a law related to a state company that deals in the disposal of a toxic substance called polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB. The revision would allow the firm to engage in businesses related to the storage facilities.

The government will seek Diet approval of the bill during the current extraordinary session.

Environment Minister Yoshio Mochiduki told reporters that there is still a long road ahead. He said he hopes to gain the trust of the local people.

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