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Fukushima to host nuclear waste storages

Nuclear & Energy

The Fukushima Prefectural government says it has decided to accept a central government proposal to build intermediate nuclear waste storage facilities in the prefecture.

The central government plans to build the facilities on 16-square-kilometer lots it will prepare in the towns of Futaba and Okuma near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The facilities will house contaminated soil and other radioactive waste generated by the process of decontaminating communities in the prefecture.

The central government has already shown its readiness to provide direct grants worth about 2.9 billion dollars to the towns and the prefecture.

The prefectural government says it made the decision on Wednesday after discussing the matter with both municipalities.

It says they value to a certain extent the financial incentives prepared by the central government.

It adds it believes it obtained a broad public consensus as there were no major objections in the prefectural assembly or at meetings with community leaders.

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato is expected to formally announce the decision on Friday. The central government is then expected to begin negotiations with the landlords of the lots.

In August 2011 then-prime minister Naoto Kan proposed a similar plan to the prefecture after the accident at the plant in March of that year.

The current government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formally made the request last December.

At a series of negotiations, the central and prefectural governments agreed that new legislation should be enacted to stipulate the stored waste will be transferred from the prefecture within 30 years.

The two governments also agreed that landlords will have the option of selling their lots to the central government or keeping their ownership of the properties.

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