Radioactive waste disposal outside Fukushima a vague vow

Original story from Japan Times Online July 20, 2012

The Environment Ministry plans to ensure radioactive waste from the meltdown disaster in Fukushima Prefecture will be disposed of outside the prefecture, but no location has been named and for at least 30 years, the debris will be stored locally, sources said.

The ministry is considering revising a special law on the handling of the radioactive waste from the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to add a provision requiring the final disposal to be made at places other than Fukushima, the sources said.

The idea to amend the law reflects requests from communities in the prefecture, home to the Tepco plant knocked out by the March 2011 quake and tsunami.

In the amendment, the ministry is also mulling adding another provision limiting the use of planned temporary storage facilities for the waste to up to 30 years, the sources said.

The revised law would say that the final disposal must be completed outside Fukushima within 30 years of the launch of the temporary facilities, according to the sources.

The ministry is considering submitting a bill to revise the law to the ongoing Diet session that runs through Sept. 8, the sources said. But it will make a final decision after monitoring the government’s negotiations with municipalities over the temporary facilities.

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