AOMORI (Kyodo) Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura said Thursday the prefecture will accept shipments from Britain and France of radioactive waste produced in the course of reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.

“In summing up opinions from all quarters of society, we are in the course of accepting (the waste),” Mimura said.

He said he conveyed the decision over the phone earlier in the day to Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima, who has jurisdiction on the country’s electric power industry.

In Tokyo, Naoshima offered thanks for Mimura’s decision, saying it is extremely significant for Japan to establish a nuclear fuel cycle.

Mimura’s remarks would pave the way for such waste to be stored at a facility to be built in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., a nuclear energy firm whose mission is to establish a nuclear fuel cycle.

The Rokkasho facility would be an interim storage site. A final disposal site has yet to be picked. Mimura said the state and Japan Nuclear Fuel have firmly promised not to turn the Rokkasho facility into a final disposal site where such waste is buried deep under the ground.

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