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Low-level nuclear waste to be buried 70 meters underground: NRA via Mainichi

A portion of low-level nuclear waste generated by nuclear reactors is to be buried at a depth of 70 meters underground until it is nearly no longer radioactive some 100,000 years from now, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said on May 25.

NRA officials announced the strategy as forming the organization’s key policy with respect to its regulatory standards.

The low-level nuclear waste materials to be buried are those with a high degree of contamination, including parts inside the reactor that are located close to the fuel rods.

According to the policy, reactor operators will be expected to oversee the waste for a total of 300 to 400 years after it is buried — at which time they will be expected to conduct regular inspections on potential leaks of radioactive materials into the groundwater.

In order to ensure that human beings do not come anywhere near the radioactive waste materials, the government also plans to implement policies restricting nearby excavations, as well as advising that the nuclear waste not be buried near spots that have the potential for large-scale damage — including volcanoes and active faults — for at least the next 100,000 years.

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