Fukushima accepts 'temporary' radioactive waste storage

Sep 01, 2014
The governor of disaster-struck Fukushima, Yuhei Sato, agrees to accept the "temporary" storage of nuclear waste from the Japanese accident, paving the way for an end to a years-long standoff

The governor of disaster-struck Fukushima agreed Monday to accept the "temporary" storage of nuclear waste from the Japanese accident, paving the way for an end to a years-long standoff.

Yuhei Sato has been cajoled and lavished with the promises of subsidies if he accepts a central plan to build a depot on land near the battered Fukushima Daiichi plant.

"I have made an agonising decision to accept plans to construct temporary storage facilities in order to achieve recovery in the environment as soon as possible," Sato told central government ministers in Tokyo.

The worst nuclear accident in a generation erupted in March 2011 when a huge tsunami swamped the plant on Japan's northeast coast, flooding cooling systems and sending reactors into meltdown.

The resulting plumes of radiation contaminated areas far and wide, rendering a swathe of Fukushima uninhabitable, perhaps for generations, and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.

Tokyo's solution has been to try to scrub the radiation from the affected areas, often by lifting topsoil in the hope that contamination levels will go down.

This has left the thorny problem of what to do with all the waste, with no community in Japan prepared to accept its permanent storage.

The government's answer has been to seek a temporary fix while it works on getting a long-term plan in place.

While observers have long said the area around Fukushima is the only viable option, people already displaced have seen it as unacceptable because it would in effect finalise the abandonment of their communities.

Sato's acquiescence came after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government offered subsidies worth more than 300 billion yen ($2.9 billion), including land rent for the facility location.

Under the plan, the government will build storage units on an area of 16 square kilometres (6.4 square miles) near the still-fragile power plant.

Explore further: Japan city launches legal bid to halt reactor build

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan to spend $970 mn on nuclear soil store

Dec 11, 2013

Japan is planning to earmark 100 billion yen ($970 million) for a storage facility for tens of thousands of tonnes of soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima disaster, a report said Wednesday.

Japan to boost surveys off Fukushima: report

Sep 14, 2013

Japan's nuclear authority plans to conduct radiation contamination surveys at 600,000 points on the seabed off the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, up from 200 places so far, a report said Saturday.

Japan city launches legal bid to halt reactor build

Jul 03, 2014

A Japanese city was Thursday asking a court for an injunction to prevent a nuclear plant being built, in a country that remains deeply suspicious of the technology three years after Fukushima.

Japan PM orders Fukushima water leaks fixed

Sep 19, 2013

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Thursday ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to work out a schedule for stemming radioactive water leaks as he toured the facility.

Tokyo 'not doing enough' for Fukushima: Greenpeace

Dec 07, 2011

Fukushima's residents are being left to their fate and not enough is being done to protect them against radiation nine months after Japan's tsunami, environment group Greenpeace said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

The state of shale

Dec 19, 2014

University of Pittsburgh researchers have shared their findings from three studies related to shale gas in a recent special issue of the journal Energy Technology, edited by Götz Veser, the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor of Che ...

Website shines light on renewable energy resources

Dec 18, 2014

A team from the University of Arizona and eight southwestern electric utility companies have built a pioneering web portal that provides insight into renewable energy sources and how they contribute to the ...

Better software cuts computer energy use

Dec 18, 2014

An EU research project is developing tools to help software engineers create energy-efficient code, which could reduce electricity consumption at data centres by up to 50% and improve battery life in smart ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.