Kamoenai, Hokkaido – A Hokkaido village assembly Friday voted to apply for a first-stage survey to choose a municipality hosting a planned final disposal site for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.
The Kamoenai assembly adopted a petition from a local chamber of commerce asking the village to apply for the so-called literature survey by a majority vote at a meeting of the assembly’s standing committee, which comprises all assembly members.
The survey, which checks geological literature and data, is the first of the three stages of examination in the selection process. In Hokkaido, the town of Suttsu is also considering applying for the literature survey.
Kamoenai Mayor Masayuki Takahashi is expected to announce the plan to apply for the survey after the petition is also approved at a plenary session, to be convened soon.
“The assembly will make its final judgment at the plenary session. I’ll respect the voting result,” Takahashi told reporters after the committee meeting.
Kamoenai’s application would be the first since that of Toyo, Kochi Prefecture, in 2007. Toyo later withdrew its application.
The committee meeting was held behind closed doors. One member said the village is not moving too fast because it has collected opinions of locals, while another said opinions of those opposing the survey should also be taken into account, according to informed sources.
Before deliberations at the meeting, industry ministry and other officials briefed the committee about the explanations given to Kamoenai residents by the ministry and others in a five-day meeting in late September.
The petition was submitted to the assembly Sept. 8.
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