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On July 28, the central government released what it called a scientific, specialized map of the country highlighting areas where highly radioactive nuclear waste from the nation’s power plants might, or might not, be safely buried underground for as long as 100,000 years.

The multicolored map (link to a PDF version) is further divided into regional blocks identifying locations in each prefecture where conditions are judged to be most favorable — both in geological terms (i.e., lack of active fault lines or low risk of volcanoes) and ease of transport — for burying high-level waste. It also indicated where such burial would pose scientific and logistical challenges.

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