Japan’s Environment Ministry revealed a plan to obtain land from the areas near the Fukushima plant to act as storage facilities for the radioactive waste that continue to amass from the decontamination process that they have set in place. Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto have asked officials from four local towns to allow the construction of the said facilities.
The government has assured local officials that should they allow the site to be built in their area, final disposal of the waste will be done outside the prefecture after 30 years of storage. “The facilities are imperative for the reconstruction of Fukushima. They will inflict a big burden on the locals, but we hope the plan will be accepted as soon as possible,“ said Ishihara to Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and town mayors in their meeting last Sunday. Sato on the other hand, wanted a guarantee from Ishihara that concerns from the residents and their safety will be taken into consideration.
A budget of 100 billion yen is being sought by the government from next year’s fiscal budget to cover the expenses, including the cost of the land which is estimated to be able to store up to 28 million cubic meters of waste, estimated to cost 1 trillion yen. The government plans to obtain around 16 square kilometers of land from the towns of Futaba and Okuma, which has the highest level of radiation and most likely to be unihabitable in the next decades, and around 3 square kilometers of land from the town of Naraha. Thousands of landowners are expected to sell their properties to be able to put this plan into action.
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