Tsushima City may take part in selection process for nuclear waste burial site

Contractor organizations in the western Japanese city of Tsushima plan to submit a petition asking the city to accept the first stage of a government process to select a final disposal site for high-level radioactive waste.

Tsushima City in Nagasaki Prefecture is deemed to have a relatively high potential in scientific terms to host an underground disposal site. The government released in 2017 a map showing areas in the archipelago deemed suitable to host underground disposal sites for highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.
Under the current law, highly radioactive waste is required to be buried in final disposal sites at a depth of more than 300 meters, in a method called "geological disposal."

On Friday, two construction groups in Tsushima held meetings behind closed doors to discuss whether the city should accept the so-called literature survey, which is the first of three steps of required government surveys.
Informed sources say that both organizations approved by a majority vote a plan to submit to the city assembly a petition in favor of accepting the first-stage survey. They plan to do so in late June.

A commerce and industry association in Tsushima also plans to submit a similar petition, while some civic groups opposing the move are launching a signature campaign.

The literature survey began three years ago in two municipalities in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido -- Suttsu Town and Kamoenai Village.

If the Tsushima City assembly adopts and deliberates on the petition, it would be the first such move in three years.

Some countries in the world have already selected candidate sites to dispose nuclear waste after examining nearly ten locations.

The Japanese government revised a basic policy on nuclear waste disposal in April for the first time in eight years, to facilitate conducting surveys in multiple locations.