A temporary storage facility in Fukushima Prefecture will begin accepting radioactive soil and waste in phases in January 2015 from temporary yards set up in municipalities, although the location of the site will be a political hot potato.
Environment Minister Goshi Hosono said Oct. 29 the facility will store contaminated soil and waste piling up through decontamination efforts for up to 30 years until a final disposal site is built outside the prefecture.
According to the road map, the government plans to pick the location in fiscal 2012 and begin construction in fiscal 2014. But there are no prospective candidate sites.
In a meeting in Fukushima, Hosono asked for cooperation from Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato, saying the government did its best to begin accepting radioactive soil and waste at the temporary storage facility as early as possible.
However, Sato remained noncommittal, saying only he wants to carefully study the government’s road map on decontamination.
Most of the 59 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture have not been able to decide where temporary yards are to be set up.
The location of the final disposal site also remains unclear.
But mayors were generally wary about the possibility of hosting the temporary storage facility.
“To be honest, we cannot accept it,” said Katsuya Endo, mayor of Tomioka, where the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant is located. “It will cause serious damage to our regional development.”
Keiichi Miho, mayor of Nihonmatsu, said he is not happy with the temporary storage facility being set up in Fukushima Prefecture.
“Everyone is worried that the temporary storage facility might turn out to be a final disposal site,” Miho said.