Fukushima governor tells ministers prefecture accepts radioactive waste

Kyodo

Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato on Monday told two Cabinet ministers that he will accept a central government plan to store radioactive waste from decontamination following the March 2011 nuclear disaster for up to 30 years in the prefecture.

“Storage facilities may force great burdens on local communities, but we made a difficult decision to restore the environment in the prefecture,” Sato told Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and reconstruction chief Takumi Nemoto.

“We respect this important decision,” Ishihara said. “The government will continue full efforts toward reconstruction.”

Also present at the meeting in Fukushima were the mayors of Okuma and Futaba, planned sites for the storage facilities near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Sato asked the ministers to enact a law for final disposal of the waste outside the prefecture within 30 years, earmark subsidies for the prefecture and ensure the safety of radioactive waste transportation.

The central government will soon start negotiations with some 2,000 landowners in the two towns in hopes of beginning waste transportation by January.