Municipalities slam candidacy as final dumps

Three Miyagi sites eyed for fallout waste disposal

JIJI

Three state-owned candidate sites for the final disposal of radioactive waste have been selected in Miyagi Prefecture, the Environment Ministry said Monday.

The three municipalities involved are the city of Kurihara and the towns of Kami and Taiwa, the ministry said in Sendai.

Facilities to be built on one of the sites will dispose of waste tainted with over 8,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive fallout from the March 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The meeting was attended by representatives from all municipalities in Miyagi.

The ministry plans to eventually select one site after conducting extensive surveys. But participants from the three municipalities denied involvement in the selection process.

The ministry said the sites were chosen based on their risk of being affected by natural disasters and their distance from water sources.

The ministry excluded municipalities that hosted more than 500,000 tourists a year from 2006 to 2010, in line with criteria set out by Miyagi.

After the meeting, Kami Mayor Hirobumi Inomata said his town cannot cooperate with a plan worked out behind a desk.

Kurihara Mayor Isamu Sato complained that the site chosen in his city had suffered landslides caused by earthquakes.

Taiwa Mayor Hajimu Asao said he wants to know how and why the site in his town was selected.

The government also plans to pick final disposal sites in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba Prefectures.