Feasibility survey begins for western Japan nuclear fuel storage facility

A Japanese utility has begun a feasibility survey in Kaminoseki Town in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, to examine whether a local site is geologically suitable for building a facility to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel.

Chugoku Electric Power Company announced its plan to conduct the study last August. It began the work on Tuesday morning.

The survey is scheduled to last about six months and will see boring at 11 locations within the utility's compound. By examining the local geology to as deep as 300 meters, the company plans to check whether the area's geological features and foundations are fit for the construction of the facility.

Chugoku Electric Power had already been conducting a documentary survey and had made preparations for boring.

The utility's feasibility study is being conducted jointly with Kansai Electric Power Company. If it leads to construction, the temporary storage facility will be the second in Japan.

Meanwhile, opponents of the construction protested in front of the compound's entrance. The leader of the group said they are angry and frustrated that the survey has started while the project seems questionable.

He referred to Chugoku Electric Power's reported plan to allow spent nuclear fuel held by Kansai Electric Power to be brought to the interim facility.