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Japan’s huge radioactive waste problem

Japan Times 3rd Feb 2021, Two fishing villages in Hokkaido are vying to host the final storage
facility for half a century of Japanese nuclear waste, splitting
communities between those seeking investment to stop the towns from dying,
and those haunted by the 2011 Fukushima disaster, who are determined to
stop the project.

In the middle is a government that bet heavily on nuclear
energy to power its industrial ascent and now faces a massive and growing
pile of radioactive waste with nowhere to dispose of it. Since it first
began generating atomic energy in 1966, Japan has produced more than 19,000
tons of high-level nuclear waste that is sitting in temporary storage
around the country.

After searching fruitlessly for two decades for a
permanent site, the approaches from Suttsu, population 2,885, and Kamoenai,
population 810, may be signs of progress. The towns have focused a debate
that has bedeviled an industry some regard as a vital emissions-free energy
source and others revile as a dangerous liability. The accidents at
Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 reinforced public skepticism about
both the safety of reactors and our ability to safely store their residue
for centuries. While new generations of fail-safe reactor designs may
eventually help assuage the first concern, the problem of the waste

February 4, 2021 - Posted by | Japan, wastes

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