Daily Archives: March 12, 2012

Nuclear Debris; the not-in-my-back-yard nuclear waste challenge in Japan

At least 140,000 tons of sewage sludge, ash and soil contaminated with radioactive materials has yet to be disposed of in Tokyo and six prefectures in the Kanto region of Japan following the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a survey shows.  Under the central government-set criteria regarding radioactive materials, sewage sludge and ash with radiation levels up to 8,000 becquerels per kilogram can be put in landfills. But an increasing number of final disposal sites refuse to accept contaminated sludge and ash even if it meets the criteria, according to a survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun. In other situations, soil removed during decontamination work has been left at the original sites….

Many local governments in the Tokyo metropolitan area do not have their own final disposal sites for sewage sludge and ash.The Nagareyama municipal government in Chiba Prefecture has about 750 tons of ash. The city previously sent ash to facilities outside the prefecture, such as one in Kosaka, Akita Prefecture, for final disposal.  However, since a maximum of 28,100 becquerels of radioactive materials per kilogram were detected in ash in July, such final disposal sites refused to accept ash from Nagareyama. Even ash en route to the disposal sites was returned to the city….

“The central government’s criteria doesn’t do anything to gain understanding from residents around final disposal sites. Unless something is done, we’ll be forced to stop incinerating garbage,” a city official said.  In Nasu and Nasu-Shiobara in Tochigi Prefecture, where decontamination work was carried out at primary and middle schools, about 11,800 tons of soil has been left in school compounds.

Excerpt, Disposal sites in Japan refuse to accept 140,000 tons of radioactive waste, The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 4, 2012