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Osaka to take on Iwate debris

March 13, 2012

Osaka to bury debris from disaster area on man-made island



OSAKA -- The Osaka prefectural and city governments have agreed on plans to accept debris generated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and bury it on a man-made island in Osaka Bay after incinerating it.

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is expected to give instructions at the end of the month on measures to prevent radioactive cesium from the debris ash from spreading into the bay. Afterward, the prefectural government will hold a meeting of safety experts and make an official decision on the plans.

The location that will be used to bury the debris ash, situated near Hokuto Port on man-made Yumeshima Island, is also the final disposal spot for the city's waste. Currently, 730,000 square meters of the 3.85 million square meters of Yumeshima is used for waste disposal.

The Osaka Prefectural Government has indicated its intention to take on 180,000 tons of debris from Iwate Prefecture. In December of last year, it set a standard of "100 becquerels or less" of radiation per kilogram of debris, and in January of this year it asked municipalities within the prefecture holding incinerator facilities to take on debris and explained the disposal procedures and standards. However, most of the municipalities are reluctant and worried about protests from residents, and only the city of Osaka has indicated it would agree to the move.

In February, the Osaka Municipal Government asked the MOE to survey the safety of the Hokuko Port disposal area. As the capacity of the area is limited, the prefectural government is aiming for disposal at other sites as well.

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