21 Novembre 2013
November 21, 2013
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Natural Resources and Energy Agency proposed Wednesday that the government choose candidate sites across Japan that are suitable for building a high-level radioactive waste disposal facility and present them to the public, rather than waiting for local governments to offer to host it.
The proposal was unveiled during a meeting of a panel that is reviewing the nation's stalled efforts to find an underground repository site for waste created as a result of operating nuclear power plants.
The idea to change the process of site selection is expected to be included in Japan's new medium- to long-term energy plan that is being reviewed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.
Currently, the selection process starts after a local government offers or accepts a government request to conduct a preliminary study of records and documentation related to the suitability of a certain region.
But the agency found local governments bear a heavy responsibility in that process.
An organization funded by contributions from utilities started seeking applications from local governments in 2002, but the process has not yielded results.
Under the newly proposed plan, the government would present areas that do not pose major concerns regarding radioactive leaks due to the movement of faults or groundwater flow, based on scientific findings.
The government will also set up a scheme to provide explanations to local residents about the disposal facility before a documentation survey of the candidate site commences, while local governments will receive subsidies if they agree to host the facility.
November 20, 2013