Dump trucks eyed for moving tainted soil to hot storage in Fukushima


The Environment Ministry plans to use 10-ton dump trucks to transport soil tainted with radiation released by the meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s wrecked Fukushima No. 1 power station to interim storage facilities in the prefecture.

The plan is part of a program for transport operations the ministry presented to a panel on Thursday.

The program calls for using the expressways to deliver the soil quickly but safely to the storage site, where it will likely sit for decades awaiting permanent disposal.

The government plans to build the storage facilities in Fukushima Prefecture on a site straddling the tainted towns of Okuma and Futaba, which host the plant, and start transporting the soil in January.

The central government will manage information on the transportation routes, the amount of soil and monitor the trucks’ locations in real-time by GPS. It will also provide residents with “information on the results” of radiation checks and other matters related to the project.

The amount of radiation-tainted soil from decontamination work following the disaster set off by March 2011 earthquake and tsunami may amount to 28 million cu. meters in Fukushima alone.