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[Nuclear Waste] Two Years After Applying for the Literature Review, the Divide Remains Unresolved in Suttsu Town, Hokkaido, Japan

High-level radioactive waste, or “nuclear waste.

Two years have passed since the town of Suttsu, Hokkaido, applied to participate in a study for the construction of a final repository for this waste.

The first phase of the literature review has reached its climax, but the focus is on whether or not to proceed to the next phase of the survey.

We covered the current situation in Machi.

Salmon landings are at their peak in Sutou Town.

Strong winds blow all year round.

In the fall of last year, when the wind began to turn cold, the town attracted nationwide attention.

(Mayor Kataoka said, “I want to put this nuclear waste on the table.

Mayor Haruo Kataoka decided to apply, so to speak, on his own initiative to the national government’s survey for the construction of a final disposal site for nuclear waste from nuclear power plants.

Nuclear waste has no place to go and cannot even be touched by humans.

After it is mixed with glass and hardened, it is buried in a stratum deeper than 300 meters underground.

It will take 100,000 years for the waste to reach a safe state.

However, for each of the three levels of investigation accepted, the municipality is given a large subsidy.

This was Mayor Kataoka’s goal.

(Mayor Kataoka said, “I heard about this in a study group on the final disposal of nuclear power plants, and I thought it was a pretty tasty grant.

The grant obtained from the literature review was 1.85 billion yen over two years.

Part of the grant is used for personnel expenses for nursery staff, and the rest is set aside as a fund.

For a small town, this is a valuable financial resource.

Kazuyuki Tsuchiya runs a pension in the town.

He has consistently opposed the survey.

(Kazuyuki Tsuchiya) “The gap between those in favor and those opposed is deepening. Those who are in favor of the project have talked to me.

I try not to mention it as much as possible. I try not to mention it.”

The literature survey will soon reach the two-year mark, with the pros and cons remaining divided.

However, with the exception of Kamieuchi Village, where the survey is also underway, no local government has raised its hand.

In the town of Sutto, a referendum will be held to decide whether or not to conduct the next survey, but Mayor Kataoka has not found the right time to do so.

(Mayor Kataoka (last month): “The residents are still anxious. They are anxious in the absence of knowledge.

I frankly feel that things are not progressing very smoothly.

(Mr. Kazuyuki Tsuchiya) “I think that those who are complying with the town’s way of doing things have stopped thinking about it.

(Is the future bright?

(Kazuyuki Tsuchiya) “It is not bright. The darkness is getting deeper and deeper.

There is an expert at Hokkaido University who has been advising NUMO, which is conducting the survey, for many years.

(Professor Tsutomu Sato, Hokkaido University Graduate School) “The literature survey has already started, and I have given advice before that.

The next time the overview survey starts, I will advise them on how they should proceed in this way.”

Discussions with local residents have not progressed well in the town of Sutou.

Professor Sato points out that the reason for this is also on NUMO’s side.

(Professor Tsutomu Sato, Hokkaido University Graduate School) “Right now, NUMO is investigating what they want to investigate for their own purposes.

They may want to know why we can get good oysters here, or why it may have something to do with geology or geological strata.

It is difficult to say whether the research is being conducted in such a way that the residents would want to know about it.

The purpose of a literature review is to compile information for a dialogue that is beneficial to both parties.

If we can do that well, I think we can overcome the hurdle of the literature review.

The debate over nuclear waste has created a deep divide within the town.

Concrete solutions to bridge that divide remain shrouded in darkness.


October 16, 2022 - Posted by | Japan | , ,

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