Three Chiba cities will store radioactive waste if state fails to build final disposal site, NHK says

Staff Report

Three cities in Chiba Prefecture that were heavily contaminated with radioactive materials as a result of the March 2011 nuclear meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant will build facilities to store incinerated radioactive waste in their own municipalities if the central government fails to find a final waste disposal site, NHK reported Monday.

The Chiba Prefectural Government is now temporarily in charge of “designated waste” — incinerated ash and other kinds of waste that contain more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive materials per 1 kg — produced by the cities of Kashiwa, Matsudo and Nagareyama in northwestern Chiba. The three cities have produced a total of 526 tons of such waste, according to NHK.

While the central government is supposed to build final disposal facilities for designated nuclear waste, the prefectural government is also asking the three cities to bring the waste back to their own municipalities and dispose of it on their own, if the central government fails to build a disposal facility by next March, the broadcaster reported.

The three cities have agreed to the prefectural government’s request. The city of Kashiwa plans to submit a ¥410 million budget request to the municipal assembly this month in order to build a waste storage plant and transport the waste there, NHK said.