TOKYO – Japan’s Environment Ministry has formulated draft rules allowing local governments to store designated waste contaminated with radioactive substances from the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant at separate locations under certain criteria.
Debate on how to dispose of such waste was at a standstill, but the draft rules are expected to move the issue a step forward. The rules also allow local governments to lift designations on radioactive waste at their own discretion, if radioactive levels drop below government standards.
Under the draft rules, local governments can consult with the Environment Ministry to decide whether designated waste could be stored at separate locations or whether the designation on waste that contains radioactive levels below the standard should be lifted.
After a designation is lifted, waste can be disposed of in an ordinary manner, with the central government shouldering the cost.
This sounds like yet another way in which radioactive materials will be widely dispersed.