Monday, March 12, 2012

Mixed reaction over plan for Fukushima county to store radioactive waste

FUKUSHIMA -- The mayors of towns and villages in the Futaba county of Fukushima Prefecture have shown mixed responses to the central government's request that three of the eight municipalities in the county host temporary storage facilities for radioactive soil and waste emanating from the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant

"What's the rationale for us to have to host such facilities?" one of the mayors questioned, while another said in defense of the plan, "Decontamination work will not progress unless those storage facilities are installed at an early date."

The central government requested on March 10 that the towns of Futaba, Naraha and Okuma in the county host interim storage facilities for contaminated soil and waste, pressing the towns' mayors to make a difficult decision and accept the proposal.

After exchanging opinions with central government officials, Futaba Town Mayor Katsutaka Idogawa said, "I will discuss the matter with the municipal assembly and townspeople." However, he questioned, "Is there a reason for us to host such a facility?"

Referring to the controversial assertions by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, that the radioactive materials that were once scattered outside the plant compounds are "ownerless," Mayor Idogawa stressed, "Unless we know who the owner (of the contaminated soil) is, there is no room to talk about it." Read More

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