The government said it plans to start next month discussing ways to accelerate the process of selecting a permanent disposal site for high-level radioactive waste produced by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.

The current plan involves placing vitrified high-level radioactive waste in a disposal site more than 300 meters underground, but the government has been unable to find a town, city or prefecture willing to host the site.

"The issue has not made progress over these 10 years. . . .We need to create a framework that will make things move," industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Tuesday to a ministry panel set up to devise the country's new medium- to long-term energy plan in light of the Fukushima disaster.