On Dec. 28, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono met and asked local leaders in Fukushima Prefecture for permission to build an interim storage facility somewhere in Futaba county in which two municipalities host the troubled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
Kawauchi Mayor Yuko Endo voiced concern about the possibility that the interim storage facility could be used permanently. “We want the government to legally guarantee (that the facility will be used only for 30 years).”
In order for residents to return to their homes, it is necessary to decontaminate their municipalities, but the interim storage facility could hamper residents’ efforts to go back to their homes.
Some local residents, particularly those people who want to return to their homes in areas near the nuclear power station, are worried that such a storage facility could stay there permanently.
Soichi Saito, 62, who lives in a temporary house in Iwaki, is skeptical about the government’s intentions, saying, “They say it is an interim storage facility, but I suspect that it will become a final disposal site.”
A 60-year-old farmer, who moved into a temporary house in Aizuwakamatsu from Okuma, said, “Is it fair that we send electricity to Tokyo but waste will be put in Futaba county? If we accept it, no one will be able to live here.”
Masumi Kowata, 56, from Okuma, was angry, saying, “Is the government going to put more burden on the people of Fukushima?”
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