Environment Ministry seeks ¥11 billion for radiation decontamination study centers in Fukushima

Kyodo

The Environment Ministry has requested around ¥11 billion as part of an envisioned extra budget for fiscal 2012 to build centers for research on radiation decontamination in Fukushima Prefecture.

The government earlier allocated ¥8 billion for the centers to the prefecture, which is struggling after three reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant suffered core meltdowns in 2011.

The centers, with the cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency and domestic institutions, are expected to conduct research and development of technologies to clean the environment and dispose of contaminated waste, a ministry official said.

According to a plan unveiled by the prefecture last October, the centers will also have radiation monitoring functions. The will also seek to develop human resources with knowledge on environmental radioactivity.

The prefecture plans to place the centers at two locations, one in the town of Miharu and another in the city of Minamisoma, in an area just outside the 20-km radius of the crippled nuclear complex.