A working group from an industry ministry panel has decided to set up a forum for discussing issues related to the disposal of spent nuclear fuel.
The new forum will be composed of Cabinet ministers and local government leaders, according to the plan revealed Friday by the group from the ministry’s Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy.
Japan urgently needs methods for disposing of radioactive waste and places to permanently store it. The amount of spent nuclear fuel sitting around in nuclear power plants and other locations across the nation is at around 17,000 tons and growing.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to ask leaders in local communities that host atomic plants and mayors of major cities that are heavy users of electricity to join the forum.
At Friday’s meeting, the members of the working group also decided to establish a separate group to discuss the technical aspects of so-called deep geological repository — a method of burying highly radioactive waste deep underground — and to hold a symposium on disposal techniques for nuclear waste.