The three municipalities involved are the city of Kurihara and the towns of Kami and Taiwa, the ministry said at a meeting in Sendai. Facilities to be built on one of the sites will dispose of waste tainted with over 8,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive fallout from the March 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Government plans to eventually select one site after conducting extensive surveys. But participants from the three municipalities denied involvement in the selection process. The ministry said the sites were chosen based on their risk of being affected by natural disasters and how far they are from sources of water. The ministry excluded municipalities that hosted more than 500,000 tourists a year from 2006 to 2010, in line with criteria set out by Miyagi.
After the meeting, Kami Mayor Hirobumi Inomata said his town cannot cooperate with a plan worked out behind a desk. Kurihara Mayor Isamu Sato complained that the site chosen in his city had suffered landslides caused by earthquakes in the past.Taiwa Mayor Hajimu Asao said he wants to know how and why the site in his town was selected, adding that he has many more questions to ask the ministry.
The Japanese government approved a 10-year business plan it is hoped will turn around the fortunes of Fukushima Daiichi’s beleaguered operator TEPCO. The plan sees four reactors being restarted at the company’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant this year.
Japanese industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi told TEPCO president Naomi Hirose:
“This new plan is a promise with the nation. You are being given the opportunity to remain operating so that you can complete paying compensation, decommissioning the facility and providing a stable electricity supply.”
The plan will also see an additional 4 trillion yen in government funds given to the company.