The Environment Ministry has announced plans to build 10 interim radioactive waste storage and processing facilities in the two towns of Okuma and Naraha in Fukushima Prefecture. Each town will get five facilities which will be built underground.
However, the plan is likely to be opposed by local residents who say they have not been consulted. They say that the land is sacred to them and their ancestors, and that if a storage facility is built in the area, residents will never be able to return to their land.
Decontamination and recovery work in the area around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has not made much progress since the March 11, 2011 disaster because neither previous DPJ-led government or the current government have been able to secure land for storing contaminated waste anywhere in japan.
According to the latest plan, approved by a panel of experts, two kinds of facilities will be built, Fuji TV reported. One will be equipped to burn contaminated waste and the other designed to store more highly toxic materials.
The Environment Ministry has not yet released the exact locations of the proposed sites. It said it will hold further discussions with local communities to gain their understanding.
Another plan being considered calls for the government to buy up or lease land that has been abandoned in the Futaba area where radiation doses are likely to exceed 100 millisieverts per year.
The facility, which would have concrete walls, would be used to store containers of contaminated soil and radioactive waste from the no-go zone and other areas in and around Fukushima Prefecture.
The waste will initially be stored for three years in short-term repositories while the government constructs bigger facilities for storage over a 30-year period.