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Ube : Fukushima Pref. plans to accept radioactive waste storage

08/29/2014 | 08:30am US/Eastern

The Fukushima prefectural government on Friday decided to accept a central government plan to store radioactive waste from the decontamination operations since the March 2011 nuclear disaster within the prefecture for three decades.

After a meeting of senior prefectural officials on the matter, Gov. Yuhei Sato told reporters, "We've screened and confirmed safety and regional promotion measures as offered by the state."

Sato is expected to convey the acceptance to Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto possibly Monday. Arrangements are under way for him to also meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

In a bid to start stockpiling the waste in January at facilities near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the central government will negotiate for the use of land with roughly 2,000 landowners of about 16 square kilometers around the plant.

The central and prefectural governments have negotiated terms and conditions since the environment minister last December requested the prefecture approve storage for up to 30 years.

During the negotiations, the central government abandoned a plan to buy all the necessary land in the face of opposition from landowners worried the storage could continue beyond 30 years.

Instead, the government has agreed to also lease land and to provide 301 billion yen in subsidies to the prefecture over the period.

It has also vowed to secure a site outside the prefecture for final disposal of the radioactive waste after the 30-year period, although the site has not been decided.

(c) 2014 Kyodo News

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