Residents of Fukushima town reject government’s waste storage plans

Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato urged the central government Wednesday to drop one of three towns from a list of sites earmarked for the construction of facilities to store highly radioactive waste from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster.

“We want the government to consider . . . building the waste storage facilities in the towns of Okuma and Futaba,” Sato said in a written request, calling for a revision of the existing proposal to build another storage site in Naraha for soil and other radioactive material removed during decontamination work outside the plant.

The government plans to purchase about 19 sq. km of land inside the three towns. The facilities built on them will be for storing waste containing over 100,000 becquerels per kilogram of radiation.

But the town of Naraha — less contaminated than the two other towns that host the disaster-struck plant — has refused to accept highly radioactive waste, saying it does not want to disrupt efforts to bring back residents.

As a result, Sato has asked that Naraha be dropped from the plan, while adding that Futaba and Okuma should also not be expected to bear a heavier burden.