Governor Yuhei Sato of Fukushima Prefecture appealed to the central government to revise its current contaminated waste storage plan. Sato hoped that one of the original three towns outlined to store the radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear power plant would be excluded.
In a written request by Sato, he urged the government “to consider… building the waste storage facilities in the towns of Okuma and Futaba,” excluding the town of Naraha, which was originally part of the storage facilities that will be built to house the contaminated highly radioactive material from the plant. Initially, the government planned to use 19 square kilometers of land from the three towns so it can build facilities that will store waste of more than 100,000 becquerels per kilogram of radiation. However, Naraha refused the plan. Because it is less contaminated than the other two, it has begun efforts to ask former residents to come back once deemed safe. Sato also addressed fears of stocking the waste intended for Naraha to Futaba and Okuma and burdening the two towns, writing “We expect the government to consider revising the plan without leading to an increase in the size of areas needed for the construction of the facilities in the two towns.”
Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara acknowledged the importance of the request but also stated that “It is not easy to change the plan, but I want to take it seriously as it is the consensus of local opinions.” The Environment Ministry will prepare a revision of the original plan to present for deliberation later this month.