The Japan government has announced that soil contaminated by the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant will be transported to an intermediate storage site in on of the towns worst affected by the March 2011 nuclear disaster.
According to the announcement made by the Environment Ministry the relocation of the radioactive soil will commence on October 28, even though the amount of soil to be moved is more than double that of the land so far acquired to accommodate it.
The move sticks of desperation, with the growing number of temporary sites housing millions of bags of radioactive debris around Fukushima Prefecture becoming a veritable eyesore and yet another stigma on the shattered communities. The debris has been painstakingly collected in the aftermath of the march 11 2011 disaster, where the Fukushima No. 1 plant underwent multiple reactor meltdowns and explosions.
The newly created intermediate storage site, located in Okuma and Futaba towns, which house the plants 6 reactors, will cover a 16-sq.-km area and is designed to accommodate up to 22 million cubic meters of radioactive debris. It's lifespan is a maximum of 30 years, after which it will need to be transferred to more permanent storage.
Such permanent storage became a hot topic in September when the government drew up a nuclear waste map earmarking places throughout Japan where temporary storage facilities could be installed. Those facilities are estimated to take up to 100 years to complete
The environment ministry is continuing talks with landowners in the area with an eye to purchasing more land for the temporary storage site. So far it has managed to finalise acquisition agreements for just 40 percent of the required land for the project.
The facility was originally slated for the start of 2015 but found resistance from residents, causing several delays.
On Oct. 28, contaminated soil that has been stored within Okuma will be moved there and a similar facility is being scheduled on the Futaba side.