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Base choice of storage site on "scientific information"

November 28, 2013


Govt. to pick potential sites for nuclear waste


A Japanese government panel has proposed a new way for the government to find potential disposal sites for nuclear waste. It says that the government should choose locations based on scientific information.

Until now, the government relied on applications from local administrations to offer sites for underground storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

It began looking for candidate sites 11 years ago, but no local governments have made any offers.

The new plan drawn up by the industry ministry panel says the government should choose suitable areas based on scientific information such as ground stability.

The experts also call for setting up a system in which the views of residents, and not just those of the local governments, are taken into consideration in deciding whether to build a nuclear waste storage in their area.

As a reason for the proposal, the panel says that it is difficult for local officials to explain their decision about offering a storage site to residents without providing a scientific explanation.

The panel also mentions concerns that residents will be sidelined if a local government offers a site for the purpose of receiving government subsidies.

The revised plan will be reported at an industry ministry's meeting on Thursday.

The ministry intends to reflect the proposal in an energy plan which will be compiled by the end of this year.

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