Radioactive waste to be stored in Tokyo, seven prefectures

Original story from by Harufumi Mori

KORIYAMA, Fukushima Prefecture–The government will ask Tokyo and seven prefectures to host interim storage facilities for waste contaminated with radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The plan, announced by Hideki Minamikawa, administrative vice minister of the Environment Ministry on Sept. 28, is designed to resolve the problem of dealing with the enormous amount of relatively high radioactive sewage sludge and incinerated ashes created by the nuclear accident caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

Minamikawa told reporters during his visit to Koriyama that the government will soon make formal requests to Tokyo and the prefectures of Fukushima, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Miyagi and Iwate, all of which are in the Kanto and Tohoku regions.

“(The disposal of contaminated material) is not a question that concerns only Fukushima Prefecture,” he said.

He also promised that “such waste found in other prefectures will not be brought to Fukushima Prefecture, which is not responsible for the accident.”

The ministry had previously said incinerated ashes containing radioactive cesium at 100,000 becquerels or less per kilogram could be buried at existing disposal sites after they are encased in concrete. But the ministry had not determined what to do with waste at levels exceeding 100,000 becquerels.

The interim storage sites to be built in Tokyo and the seven prefectures are expected to hold incinerated ashes.

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