CHIBA – The government on Friday informed the city of Chiba that the radioactive designation for 7.7 tons of Fukushima-tainted waste stored in the city will be lifted on Saturday, allowing it to be treated as general garbage.
State Minister of the Environment Shinji Inoue conveyed the decision to Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai during a meeting at City Hall in Chiba Prefecture’s capital.
The decision came after it was found that the radioactive activity of cesium in the waste had fallen below the state-set limit of 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.
It will be the first time for such a designation to be lifted for such waste.
The waste was part of the aftermath of the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami of March 2011, which triggered a triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The defunct plant is owned by Tokyo Electric Power Holdings Inc.
Some 3,700 tons of designated radioactive waste created by the man-made meltdowns, including incineration ash, is stored in Chiba. The 7.7 tons in question is sitting in a garbage disposal facility in Mihama Ward in Chiba.
The lifting of the designation will allow the city to dispose of the waste in the same way as general waste. But Kumagai has expressed his intention to keep it in storage for the time being.
As of the end of March, 172,899 tons of such designated waste was being stored in Chiba, Tokyo and 10 other prefectures in eastern Japan.