Japan Searches For High Level Waste Site

Two municipalities in the Hokkaido prefecture in Japan have agreed to participate in a Japan Nuclear Waste Management (JUMO) sponsored search for a site suitable for a high-level radioactive waste storage facility. The search will include about two years of initial study followed by four years needed to test the geographic stability of the specific sites cleared in the first phase of the inquiry.

Map of JapanJUMO is moving forward with the study that was expected to involve municipalities throughout Japan. However, the only other city to agree to take part, Toyo City in Kochi Prefecture, has withdrawn its application, Nuclear Engineering International reported. The two cities that are currently willing to participate are Suttsu and Kamoenai.

In addition, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki has pointed out that the Hokkaido, which is also the second largest Japanese island, has already established a ban on the importation of high-level nuclear waste.

Despite that stipulation, JUMO said in a statement, “We are starting by collecting and organizing the necessary documents and data, such as geological maps and academic papers.

“Following the publication of the ‘Nationwide Map of Scientific Features relevant for Geological Disposal’ by the Japanese government in 2017, we have been carrying out communication activities across Japan to promote understanding of the geological disposal project and the geological environment in Japan,” JUMO said. The agency also thanked the two municipalities for agreeing to take part.

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