A special committee of a Saga Prefecture town assembly is expected to approve a petition to accept a "literature survey" for a possible final disposal site for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear plants.

At the Genkai assembly, the committee on nuclear energy issues, consisting of all assembly members, began its second discussion on the petition, submitted by local business groups.

In the previous discussion, the committee received explanations from officials from related organizations including the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, or NUMO, which conducts the survey.

If the petition is approved by the special committee and then the full assembly, the Genkai mayor will need to make the final decision on whether to accept the survey. The mayor, Shintaro Wakiyama, has taken a cautious stance on the issue.

The literature survey, which looks into papers and data, is the first of the three stages in the process of selecting a final disposal site. Municipalities can decide whether to apply for the survey, and those that accept can receive up to ¥2 billion in state subsides over two years.

Once an area is found suitable for a disposal site, it moves on to the second stage after the consent of the prefectural governor.

Saga Gov. Yoshinori Yamaguchi opposes the idea of hosting such a site, making it unclear whether Genkai will be able to move forward in the selection process.