27 Janvier 2016
January 27, 2016
Jan. 26, 2016 - Updated 10:45 UTC+1
The mayor of the village hosting a closed nuclear plant near Tokyo has told NHK that he will approve a plan to bury some low-level radioactive waste at the facility.
In 2001, the operator, Japan Atomic Power Company, began the process of scrapping the Tokai plant in Ibaraki Prefecture. The first commercial nuclear plant in Japan had been closed in 1998.
In July last year, the operator revealed a plan to permanently dispose of more than 12,000 tons of low-level radioactive waste by burying it at the facility.
The waste includes concrete chunks and metal parts from demolished buildings, and is classified under the lowest of the 3 categories of nuclear waste.
Tokai Mayor Osamu Yamada said the decommissioning process should not be delayed because local authorities will not accept permanent disposal sites. He added that he feels the plan's approval is inevitable, as there is no other choice.
The burying of the waste will start after the plan passes the Nuclear Regulation Authority's screening, and obtains official approval from Ibaraki Prefecture and Tokai Village.
If the plan is implemented, Tokai Village would become the first municipality in Japan to host a permanent disposal site for contaminated waste.