Miyagi residents physically block officials from surveying proposed nuke waste dump sites


Residents of three Miyagi Prefecture towns selected as candidate sites for hosting a permanent nuclear waste disposal facility barred the entry Monday of Environment Ministry officials seeking to carry out survey work.

People in the towns of Kami, Kurihara and Taiwa stalled the officials’ plan to conduct geological surveys needed to determine which of the three locations would be best to host the site, which will permanently store radioactive waste that spewed from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant following the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake.

In the Tashirodake area of Kami on Monday morning, some 350 residents turned out in a light rain to protest the visit, holding banners and signs and yelling “Protect children’s future!” and “Get lost!”

They also physically blocked the officials’ access to the areas.

An Environment Ministry official meanwhile said the ministry will consider holding a town meeting in Kami in line with a request by the municipal government.

Plans to start ground surveys in the towns have been stalled since October, when the Environment Ministry began visiting them.

Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai criticized the residents’ demonstrations, saying they should wage their battle against the nuclear dump site in the courts.

“They should open the land for a government survey without hesitating,” Murai said. “If they disagree with the government plan, they should go to court.”

Post-3/11 nuclear waste is being temporarily stored on farms around the prefecture and farmers hosting the waste are demanding the government build a proper storage site.

  • kyushuphil

    Let’s fast-forward past the most obvious point.
    “They” have lied to us for decades now — that’s obvious. These corporate elites selling their forever-toxic way of life obviously never learned any humanity, any respect for life, or any human decency at all the law schools and biz schools they attended.
    Can’t blame the scientists or engineers — they’ve honestly said they’ve never gotten close to the solution of toxins-forever storage.
    So the next Q is, why does the same cast of genteel predator corporate types keep lying to us also about the easy investments and sustainability of all those things based totally on nuclear power? All those shopping malls, all that land use turned over to energy-intensive sprawl, all that automobile culture based on sprawl, all those high rise buildings hermetically sealed for forever-necessary energy doses always to be pumped into them? And all that neon spreading all that happy advertising?
    The world of corporate money and greed altogether permanently twists nature and lies to all humanity.
    If the schools featured more essay writing, at every level, we’d have more people equipped to see and reject the obvious culture of predation and lies. If the schools featured more humanities, with students reading many more books (from beginning to end) we might contest the consumerism culture.
    But right now, the culture of lying and predation continues. So many sleazy genteel from so many law schools and biz schools.

    • Starviking

      Can’t blame the scientists or engineers — they’ve ever honestly said they’ve never gotten close to the solution of toxins-forever storage.

      Two possibilities:
      A: Vitrify and store in a geologically stable formation.
      B: Store and then use the waste in a 4th Generation Reactor.

      Also, nuclear waste is not toxic forever – half-lives see to that. Stuff like arsenic, mercury – those are pretty much ‘forever’.

      • kyushuphil

        Yes. True. Not really forever.

        But the possibilities you cite for storage, even if indeed feasible — does such tech justify for you the excesses we have in materialism now?

        I mean, I’m considering both the downsizing of humanities in schools (Abe intends more reductions in Japan; standardized testers seek same in U.S.) and I’m considering, too, the sustainability of environments worldwide.

        Having nukes and storage, too, justifies our continued emphasis on materialism, consumerism, money, cars, and numbered lives?

      • Starviking

        Why stop at nukes then? We have industrial production of solar panels, eco-friendly fridges, air-conditioners, cars, etc.

      • kyushuphil

        Not a Luddite here — I’m sitting at a computer.

        Please think for a bit, too, of that great little screed by Tanizaki Junichirō, “In Praise of Shadows.”

        In his famously slightly-eroticized way he presents his case for the old, the worn, and the “wabi-sabi.” In his view, they represent the human better than the mechanical, the glittering, and the rest of our modern world.

        Just for balance, we need a bit more of humanity, and humanities, such as some greats from the past embody.

        Do you know the very last paragraph in the Herodotus “Histories”? 2500 years old, and nothing surpasses it in our legacy of the human trying to hold at bay some of the more typical but perennial lies of power, money, numbers, dynamos, and riches.

      • Starviking

        Well, why the focus on nukes in your complaint about materialism then?

        The old and the worn have their charms, but so does the new MRI, new vaccines, more efficient machines, and better life expectancy.

      • kyushuphil

        Correct you are, but in limited context.

        Broaden your range of reference and you will see the nukes integral to the larger materialism which “apparently cheap” energy pushes. (We’re not counting the eventual costs later generations must pay, from monstrously costly disassembly to inevitable accidents from the mass of poisons we leave.)

        There’s human cost now, too — at many pernicious levels from the consumerism grids. But to see, factor in these costs, we need also to be open to human stories — novels especially, stories based on keen observation of human fact, social networks, institutional causalities.

        It’s all very complicated, Star, not at all anything as simple and bottom-line as the accountants, marketers, and lawyers reduce themselves to imagine.

  • Starviking

    Great, more NIMBYs. Of course, they are all of the generation who permitted all the woes of present day Japan to occur, because they could not be bothered educating themselves. They should do so now.

  • WalterFeldman

    Why not put it in Murai’s backyard?

  • zer0_0zor0

    An excellent example of The People standing up for their Rights!

  • Jackson Lo

    There’s two perfect sites to store waste–Kasumigaseki, or maybe a nice Oceanside area in Yamaguchi Prefecture. This is a fair trade.

    Another idea is just to pour it into a shipping container for people who are protesting Taiji dolphins, just because they saw a DVD–and their own countries are perfect.