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» [Three years after 3.11]No storage for radioactive waste in Metropolitan area

At the end of 2013, 12 prefectures were storing a total of 140,843 tons of the waste. The basic rule is to have each prefectural government find a final disposal site for radioactive waste produced within its jurisdiction through garbage incineration or sewage treatment.

The central government plans to build final disposal sites in five prefectures–including Chiba–that have a dearth of storage sites, but no significant progress has been made. The other seven prefectures have still not decided how to handle radioactive waste within their boundaries.

Chiba Prefecture designated 3,612 tons of radioactive waste, mainly from the northwestern part of the prefecture, where many hot spots with high radiation levels were detected following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

The three cities of Kashiwa, Matsudo and Nagareyama incinerated a large part of that waste, producing 2,564 tons of ash that could not be sufficiently stored. The prefectural government allowed 526 tons of the ash to be brought to the Teganuma site at the end of 2012.

Incineration does not destroy radioactive substances, so the ash still falls under the designation for special disposal.

The central government plans to construct a final disposal site in Chiba Prefecture by the end of March 2015, the deadline set under an agreement between the prefectural government and the three municipal governments to end temporary storage at Teganuma.

However, the selection process has not gone smoothly, and the residents filed the lawsuit because they feared the temporary storage site would become the permanent one.
The Tokyo metropolitan government has designated about 982 tons as radioactive waste. All but one ton is now being temporarily stored at a land reclamation site.
Saitama is the only prefecture in the greater Tokyo area that has not designated any radioactive waste. But that does not mean there is no such waste in the prefecture just north of the capital.

In fact, the prefecture is temporarily storing 245 tons of incinerator ash with radiation levels that would qualify it as radioactive waste at its sewage processing facility in Toda.

Saitama Prefecture has not applied for the designation to avoid being obliged to process the waste within the prefecture.

An official with the prefectural government section in charge of sewage management said if radiation levels of the waste decreased to a certain level, it could be turned over to a company handling industrial waste for transport outside of Saitama.


<Media Report>

THREE YEARS AFTER: Radioactive waste piles up in Tokyo area with no place to go (Asahi Newspaper)

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