26 Mars 2016
March 25, 2016
The head of Japan's nuclear watchdog has stressed the need to gain the understanding of local residents about the nuclear waste created by the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant long before it is decided where it will be stored. He says the waste may end up remaining at the plant's compound for a long time.
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka spoke to NHK this month, 5 years after the nuclear disaster.
The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company say they will start removing the melted fuel from the plant's 3 reactors in 2021. But its future storage sites and final destinations have yet to be decided.
Tanaka said it is easy to demand that the melted fuel and other nuclear waste be transferred to other places, but this is not realistic. He said he thinks the only possible way is to store the waste at the plant in a stable manner until it is decided where it is to end up.
Tanaka referred to the need to gain the understanding of local people about the reactors' decommissioning and to deal with them sincerely.
TEPCO officials have said that locations and methods to store the melted fuel will be decided after it is removed from the reactors, and that they want to consult with the central government on the matter.
They said the utility wants to proceed with the decommissioning while providing the local people with detailed explanations to win their understanding.