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NRA OKs plan to bury radioactive waste from nuke plant decommissioning for 100,000 yrs

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The Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is seen in this file photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on July 17, 2018.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) plans to require that highly radioactive waste generated when nuclear reactors are decommissioned be buried underground at least 70 meters deep for about 100,000 years until the waste becomes no longer hazardous.
Moreover, disposal sites for such waste should not be built in areas that could be affected by active faults or volcanoes.
The plan is part of the proposed regulatory standards on disposal sites for radioactive waste from dismantled nuclear reactors, which the NRA approved on Aug. 1. The NRA will hear opinions from power companies operating nuclear plants and other entities before finalizing the regulatory standards.
Low-level radioactive waste generated when reactors are dismantled is graded by three ranks in descending order from L1 to L3.
The proposed regulatory standards cover L1 waste, such as containers for control rods and fuel assemblies.
There have been no regulatory standards for L1 radioactive waste even though a growing number of nuclear reactors are bound to be decommissioned under the regulatory standards for nuclear plants that have been stiffened following the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011.
Under the proposed regulatory standards for L1 waste, electric power companies would be required to build disposal sites on stable ground. Such facilities should not be built near faults at least 5 kilometers in length. Moreover, utilities would be mandated to confirm from records or geological surveys that there has been no volcanic activity over the past 2.6 million years or so near where they plan to build the disposal sites.
Power companies would also be obligated to avoid building disposal sites near oil or mineral deposits because areas with such natural resources may be excavated in the future.
Such radioactive waste must be regularly monitored over a roughly 300- to 400-year period following its disposal to see if the waste contaminates nearby groundwater. The owners of disposal sites would then be banned from digging areas surrounding the facilities without permission from the central government.
The proposed standards also require that additional radiation exposure dosages from disposal sites be limited to 0.3 millisieverts or less a year in accordance with international standards. It is also required to confirm whether radiation doses would be below that limit even if the functions for shielding radiation were partially lost, such as the container holding radioactive waste being broken, by analyzing doses under such scenarios.

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Burying Radioactive Rubble in the Schoolyard of Primary Schools in Yokohama

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Question: “Why on earth would anyone do this?”

Answer:”I guess it’s better than sitting unprotected in barrels on the school grounds for years until the national govt got around to classifying the sludge as radioactive waste. And burying it on school grounds has a precedent in Fukushima that everyone seems to think is OK. Why would Yokohama be treated any differently? (Please read in sarcastic tone of voice.)

Special credits to Jack Hiro and Beverly Findley-Kaneko for this information and comments.


June 11, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan Studying Nuclear Waste Burial 5,000 meters Deep on the Pacific Island of Minamitorishima



An agency affiliated with the Japanese government is to study the possibility of burying nuclear waste at a depth of about 5,000 meters. That’s much deeper than proposed in the government’s current plan.

Researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, or JAMSTEC, will carry out a basic survey for the new disposal option after next April.

The survey will be conducted at Minamitorishima, a remote island above the geologically stable Pacific Plate.

JAMSTEC says it will use a research vessel to collect data on the topography and geology of the area.

No technology exists to bury nuclear waste 5,000 meters below ground as there are many technical challenges.

The Japanese government has been planning to bury high-level radioactive waste from nuclear plants at a depth of more than 300 meters in final disposal facilities. Officials are currently looking for candidate sites.


Nagasaki University Professor Tatsujiro Suzuki is a former member of Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission. He says it is too soon to discuss a technology that has yet to be developed, but he thinks basic research by the agency could help to create more options.

December 26, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Low-level nuclear waste to be buried 70 meters underground: NRA

Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority pretends it will exist for 100,000 years!

A portion of low-level nuclear waste generated by nuclear reactors is to be buried at a depth of 70 meters underground until it is nearly no longer radioactive some 100,000 years from now, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said on May 25.

NRA officials announced the strategy as forming the organization’s key policy with respect to its regulatory standards.

The low-level nuclear waste materials to be buried are those with a high degree of contamination, including parts inside the reactor that are located close to the fuel rods.

According to the policy, reactor operators will be expected to oversee the waste for a total of 300 to 400 years after it is buried — at which time they will be expected to conduct regular inspections on potential leaks of radioactive materials into the groundwater.

In order to ensure that human beings do not come anywhere near the radioactive waste materials, the government also plans to implement policies restricting nearby excavations, as well as advising that the nuclear waste not be buried near spots that have the potential for large-scale damage — including volcanoes and active faults — for at least the next 100,000 years.

The NRA will begin soliciting opinions on May 26 for a period of around one month as it aims to formulate concrete regulatory standards in this regard.

May 26, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment