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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Will they have the choice ?

December 10, 2013


Fukushima towns will be asked to host waste sites



Japan's Environment and Reconstruction ministers will visit Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday to ask local communities to host intermediate storage facilities for radioactive waste.

The government is planning to build the storage sites in the towns of Futaba, Okuma and Naraha, all of which are close to the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. An expert panel judged that the towns are capable of hosting such sites.

The facilities are designed to hold contaminated soil and debris gathered during decontamination work for up to 30 years before it is disposed of outside the prefecture.

The Environment Ministry announced on Monday the visit by Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto.

The 2 ministers will meet Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and mayors of the 3 towns.

The towns have so far accepted the feasibility study for the sites, but have not accepted the hosting plan itself. Some local residents have voiced opposition.

Senior Vice Environment Minister Shinji Inoue said the government wants to carefully explain the details of the construction plan. He said he hopes to receive consent from the towns soon so that the facilities' planned January 2015 completion can be met.

The 2 ministers will also meet the mayor of Tomioka, also in the prefecture. They plan to ask the town to dispose locally of sewage sludge and incineration ash contaminated with radioactive substances with levels of 100,000 becquerels or less per kilogram.

Dec. 10, 2013 - Updated 02:49 UTC

Japan gov't to seek consent for Fukushima waste storage facilities



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Two Japanese ministers will visit Fukushima on Saturday to seek consent from local authorities for the construction of facilities to store radioactive and other waste created by decontamination work around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The Environment Ministry on Monday announced the planned visit of its head Nobuteru Ishihara and Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto, who will meet with Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato and the mayors of four towns near the Fukushima Daiichi complex.

The four towns are Okuma, Futaba, Naraha and Tomioka. Okuma and Futaba host the Fukushima Daiichi complex struck by the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan.

Uncertainty over the interim waste storage facilities has been the main cause of a delay in decontamination work, and the central government hopes to see the start of construction in April after obtaining local consent at an early date.

"The ministers will let the local authorities know about the government's basic ideas on the facilities," Senior Vice Environment Minister Shinji Inoue told a press conference. "We would like them to approve it as quickly as possible."

The government plans to purchase a vast area of land around the Fukushima Daiichi complex for the facilities and to start operating some of them from January 2015.

The government plans to keep the waste inside the storage facilities for up to 30 years and dispose of it outside the northeastern Japan prefecture, but it remains unclear where the final disposal site will be located.

A heated debate is expected between Tokyo and Fukushima due to a host of concerns among local citizens.

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