NARAHA, Fukushima Pref.
A group of Fukushima residents in the fallout-hit town of Naraha on Friday requested that a local ordinance be drafted to hold a referendum on accepting interim nuclear waste storage in the municipality.
Such a facility would be a disincentive for young residents to return, said Keiichi Matsumoto, who is leading the group. Matsumoto, 65, stressed that residents should be given an opportunity to make a decision on the issue.
The group issued the request directly to Naraha Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto. The mayor will convene a municipal assembly within 20 days and submit a draft ordinance to enable the proposed vote along with his own opinion on the ordinance.
Last month, the group presented a petition for such an ordinance to the municipal board of election. The board confirmed there were 2,151 valid signatures, far more than the 126 (one-50th of the voting population) required for an ordinance.
Naraha is one of the municipalities the central government has asked to host interim facilities for storing radioactive soil and other waste.