FUKUSHIMA – Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki told Fukushima Prefecture leaders Friday that the central government plans to nationalize a private facility intended for the disposal of relatively low radioactive waste in the prefecture.
In a meeting with Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori and others, Mochizuki also said the government plans to launch a new subsidy program for revising the local economy.
The ministry was to utilize the facility, which handles industrial waste, for the final disposal of such radioactive waste under an outsourcing contract, but it accepted the local demand for the nationalization.
Uchibori said in the meeting that he welcomes the ministry’s policy.
Koichi Miyamoto, mayor of the town of Tomioka where the facility is located, was understanding of the ministry’s move.
The facility will be used for the final disposal of waste tainted with radioactive materials released from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
It will accept waste with radioactivity levels of up to 100,000 becquerels per kilogram.
Waste and soil with higher radioactivity levels are to be kept at an interim storage facility, which will be constructed at a site straddling the towns of Okuma and Futaba.