1st-Stage Survey to Pick N-Waste Disposal Site Begins in Hokkaido

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)--A first-stage survey began Tuesday in two municipalities in Hokkaido to see whether they have locations suited to host a final disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants in Japan.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, or NUMO, started the so-called literature survey in the town of Suttsu and the village of Kamoenai in the northernmost Japan prefecture, marking the first time ever for the survey being conducted in the country. On the day, the industry ministry gave necessary approval for conducting the survey.

Previously, the town of Toyo in Kochi Prefecture, western Japan, applied for a literature survey in 2007, but later canceled the application before the start of the survey.

The literature survey, which checks geological literature and data, is the first of the three stages of examination in the selection process. Suttsu and Kamoenai will each get up to 2 billion yen in state subsidies in exchange for accepting the first-stage survey.

NUMO will spend about two years checking geographical layers and the strength of bedrock in the two municipalities based on geological maps and academic papers. Through the first-stage work, the institute will pick candidate locations for the second-stage survey, called preliminary investigation, in which drilling work will be carried out to analyze geographical layers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press