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» Town in Tochigi approved water protection ordinance to block nuclear waste storage

A town in Tochigi Prefecture has found a novel way to block the construction of a final disposal site for radioactive waste from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis by passing an ordinance that will protect its natural resources.

The ordinance, passed unanimously by the Shioya town assembly on Sept. 19, will protect an area that includes local springs, as well as mountain forest that was designated by the Environment Ministry as a candidate for the final disposal facility.

The ministry plans to use the site to store designated waste which contains more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram.

Under the ordinance, the town government aims to protect the quality and quantity of water in springs, including the Shojinzawa Yusui, recognized by the ministry as one of the best 100 natural waters in Japan.

The protected zone covers about 5,000 hectares of land, including the mountain forest. The official designation will be made after deliberations at an advisory council.

All projects to be undertaken in the area, including those by the central government, will require approval by the town government. Violators will be asked or ordered by the town government to suspend the projects.


<Media Reoprt>
Tochigi town passes water-protection ordinance to block nuclear waste plans (Asahi Newspaper)

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