9 Mars 2018
March 8, 2018
Radioactive waste still awaiting disposal
A decision about the disposal of radioactive waste from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has yet to be made, 7 years after an accident occurred at the plant in 2011.
Japan's government plans to dispose of waste that contains more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive substances per kilogram. Among the waste materials slated for disposal are ash, mud, and straw.
More than 203,000 tons of waste is being temporarily stored at sewage treatment plants and on farmlands in 11 prefectures.
The Environment Ministry plans to build 3 disposal facilities. Tochigi, Chiba, and Miyagi prefectures will each host one. Outside Fukushima, the largest amounts of radioactive waste are in those 3 prefectures.
Disposal efforts have gone nowhere because of local opposition to the construction plans.
The ministry says it will continue to try to persuade local residents to accept the disposal facilities.
Radioactive concentrations in waste decrease over time. The Miyagi Prefectural Government hopes to give priority to the disposal of straw, grass, and other bulky items that have safe levels of radioactive substances.