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Report: Tour of Interim Storage Facility and Date City Biomass Power Plant

Posted on December 18, 2022 by Aoki

On December 10-11, we went on a research tour to Fukushima. The objectives of the tour were as follows

(1) Observation of the current status of the interim storage facility
(2) Field survey of biomass power generation in Yanagawa Town, Date City, and a lecture at a study session for local residents
(3) Investigation of the actual contamination situation in Date City and soil sampling

 The interim storage facility is a vast facility that spans the towns of Okuma and Futaba and is located in the shape of the town of Fukuchi. The tour was guided by JESCO (Japan Interim Storage and Environmental Safety Corporation), which operates the facility.

Interim Storage Facility Location

After watching a 10-minute information video and a briefing at the Interim Storage Construction Information Center, we took a JESCO microbus around the site. The previous tour (in April 2021) circled around the Futaba Town side, but this time the course circled around the Okuma Town side.

 The first thing that surprised me when I entered the site was that most of the “removed soil” (i.e., contaminated soil) had already been brought in and processed. Most of the receiving flexible container bag dismantling facility, soil classification facility, combustible material incinerator, and 1.5 km long conveyor line that had been constructed for processing had already been dismantled and removed.

 Landfill work for contaminated soil is also nearly complete.

Contaminated soil landfill site (green sheet is rain protection) Cover this with soil

Dose at the observatory for visitors 1.18 μSv/h

According to JESCO, there are 20-30μSv/h in the forests by the roads.

 About 7% of the vast area that stretches across the towns of Okuma and Futaba has not yet been contracted, so that area has been left untouched as an enclave. Of the remaining 93%, about 10% is under lease and 90% is being purchased by the government.

 Even if all the contaminated soil could be moved out of the prefecture after 30 years, it would still be a vast area of state-owned land (the portion purchased by the government), with private land scattered throughout. It is hard to imagine that normal life or effective personal use would be possible on the scattered private lands.

 The Ministry of the Environment is desperate to dispose of the waste in various locations outside of the prefecture, claiming that “volume reduction,” “reuse,” and “soil is an important resource,” according to the Japan Environmental Safety Corporation (JESCO) Act, which states that “final disposal will be completed outside of Fukushima Prefecture within 30 years after the start of interim storage. The recently announced “reuse” demonstration tests in Tokorozawa City, Shinjuku Gyoen, and other locations are a preparation for such tests.

 Even if there were to be a place that would accept the soil, there would be enormous costs involved in digging up the huge amount of contaminated soil again and transporting it to the receiving site, as well as the risk of spreading the contaminated soil due to accidents during transportation.

 It would be most reasonable now to revise the law and use an interim storage facility as the final disposal site.

Okuma Town Day Service Center for the Elderly (in the same condition as when evacuated immediately after the accident)

Cars in the day service center parking lot also remain in place.

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January 4, 2023 - Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , ,

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