Fukushima may accept delivery of radioactive waste


The Fukushima prefectural government may in the coming week approve the delivery of radioactive soil and other waste at interim storage facilities that are under construction, sources said Saturday.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori may declare the acceptance during a meeting with Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki, who plans to visit the prefecture around Wednesday, according to the sources.

The prefectural government has begun discussing the timing with Futaba and one of the towns hosting the facilities, Okuma, they said.

Work to build the facilities began earlier in February after the prefectural government agreed to the construction last August. But the prefectural government has yet to approve the delivery of waste collected during decontamination work following the 2011 nuclear crisis, saying it is a separate decision.

The central government aims to begin such transportation by March 11, the fourth anniversary of the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.

Under the government’s plan, the radioactive waste will be kept in the interim facilities in the Fukushima towns of Futaba and Okuma and will be permanently disposed of outside the prefecture within 30 years, as requested by the prefectural government.

The prefectural government has called on the state for legislation ensuring that the waste will get final disposal outside Fukushima Prefecture within 30 years.

The site for final disposal of the waste has yet to be decided.