TOKYO – The Japanese government unveiled on Friday a plan for the long-term storage of highly radioactive waste from the disaster-struck Fukushima and other nuclear power plants in the country that involves placing the waste in underground repositories in coastal areas.
The government hopes to begin talks with local authorities in September to get their approval for the repositories after explaining the technical advantages and logistics of every area and gaining the understanding of the citizens, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said at a press conference on Friday.
However, this seems unlikely in the face of the reluctance displayed by several regional governments and citizens of areas chosen earlier to temporarily house repositories for waste with medium or low levels of radioactivity from Fukushima.
The plan drawn up by the government includes parts of the Japanese archipelago designated more favorable on account of their geological conditions.
Around 900 locations have been identified as the safest places to store the waste, most of which are along the eastern coast of the main island of Honshu, including the Tohoku region, devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as well as the islands of Shikoku and Hokkaido.