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SEVEN YEARS AFTER: Radioactive debris piling up at Fukushima interim facility

March 5, 2018
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Bags containing radioactive soil and other waste are piled up high at an interim storage facility in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, on Feb. 17.
FUTABA, Fukushima Prefecture–Stacks of soil and other waste contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster continue to grow at an interim storage facility here.
Black bags filled with radioactive debris collected during decontamination work in various locations in the prefecture have been brought to the facility since October, when operations started.
Heavy machinery is used to stack the bags, and green sheets now cover some of the piles.
The town of Futaba co-hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. The interim facility is expected to eventually cover about 1,600 hectares of land in Futaba and Okuma, the other co-host of the plant.
The government has acquired 801 hectares as of Jan. 29, and 70 percent of that space is already covered with contaminated debris.
Negotiations between the government and landowners are continuing for the remaining hectares.
The government plans to move the contaminated debris to a final disposal site outside the prefecture by March 2045. However, it has had difficulties finding local governments willing to accept the waste.

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Incineration, Processing and Interim Storage at Okuma-Futaba Facility

As you may see the Mainichi’s article below does mention the incineration which will take place at this facility. The Asahi ‘s article below on the other hand completely omits to talk about the incineration, lying by omission.
The radioactive debris will be first incinerated to reduce their volume to 1/50 of their initial volume, then processed and stored there. The amount of contaminated soil and other waste reaching  up to 22 million cubic meters (metric tons).
However it is important to point out that whatever the type of screening filters used during the incineration they will not retain all the radioactive nanoparticles, that some radioactive nanoparticles will still be released into the air during that incineration.
Thus “storage facility” is a misnomer as it is actually a processing facility before to be a storage facility.
25 oct 2017 Storage Facility Okuma
An intermediate storage facility under construction in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in February, with the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in the background

Interim storage site for Fukushima contaminated soil to begin full operations

An interim storage site in Fukushima Prefecture for soil and waste generated when areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis were decontaminated will be put into full-scale operation on Oct. 28, Environment Minister Masaharu Nakagawa said.
Contaminated soil temporarily placed on the premises of the facility, which straddles the prefectural towns of Okuma and Futaba, will be brought into an underground storage site on the property.
The storage site will be the first one in the country to be put into full-scale operation to store contaminated soil and other waste.
“There are numerous challenges that must be overcome, but the start of operations at the facility is an important step toward the final disposal of contaminated soil,” Nakagawa told a news conference on Oct. 24.
The Environment Ministry is constructing the interim storage site on an approximately 16-square-kilometer area around the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Operations at a section of the facility located in Okuma will begin on Oct. 28. After contaminated soil is measured for radiation, the soil will be stored separately at the facility depending on levels of radiation.
Waterproof work has been performed at the site to prevent stored soil from contaminating ground water.
At the site, a plant to incinerate weeds, trees and other flammable materials removed from contaminated soil and a facility to manage incinerated ash containing high levels of radioactive cesium will also be built.
The ministry estimates that the amount of soil and other waste removed from decontaminated sites in the prefecture could reach up to some 22 million cubic meters. Decontamination work is still going on in some areas affected by the nuclear disaster, which broke out in March 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Most of the soil removed from decontaminated areas was put into bags and temporarily stored at various locations in Fukushima Prefecture. Some of the bags have been brought onto the premises for the interim storage site since March 2015.
The central government intends to build a final disposal site outside the prefecture to complete the disposal of contaminated soil by 2045. However, the government has not worked out a specific plan on the final disposal site, such as its location and the timing of its construction.

Fukushima debris heading to intermediate storage facility

The Environment Ministry on Oct. 28 will start bringing radiation-contaminated soil to an intermediate storage site in Fukushima Prefecture, despite having acquired less than half of the land needed for the overall project.
The ministry’s announcement on Oct. 24 marks a long-delayed step toward clearing temporary sites that were set up around the prefecture to store countless bags of radioactive debris gathered after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
The entire intermediate storage project will cover a 16-square-kilometer area spanning the towns of Futaba and Okuma around the nuclear plant. It is designed to hold up to 22 million cubic meters of contaminated debris for a maximum period of 30 years.
However, the ministry is still negotiating with landowners on buying parcels of land within the area. As of the end of September, the ministry had reached acquisition agreements for only about 40 percent of the land for the project.
The soil storage facility that will open on Oct. 28 is located on the Okuma side. It has a capacity of about 50,000 cubic meters.
Bags of contaminated soil stored in Okuma will be transferred to the facility, where the debris will be separated based on radiation dosages.
A similar storage facility is being constructed on the Futaba side.
The ministry initially planned to start full-scale operations of the entire storage facility in January 2015. However, it took longer than expected to gain a consensus from local residents and acquire land at the proposed site.
In March 2015, a portion of the contaminated soil was brought to the Okuma facility for temporary storage.

October 28, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Environment Ministry presents contaminated waste disposal plan for Fukushima

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Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa speaks at the beginning of a meeting on interim storage facilities in the city of Fukushima, on March 27, 2016.

FUKUSHIMA — The Ministry of the Environment announced on March 27 that the government expects to acquire up to 70 percent of land for interim storage facilities for waste contaminated with radioactive materials emanating from the Fukushima nuclear crisis and bring up to 40 percent of contaminated soil into such facilities by the end of fiscal 2020.

The ministry has a rough road ahead, however, since as of March 25 it had only acquired about 1.3 percent of the land needed to build storage facilities straddling the Fukushima Prefecture towns of Okuma and Futaba, and it also faces serious challenges in negotiations with landowners.

On a total of 1,600 hectares of land, the interim storage facilities will be equipped with disposal sites for contaminated soil and other materials, as well as incinerators to reduce the volume of contaminated waste derived from decontamination work around the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Delivering of the waste began in March 2015 as a pilot project and it will be stored at the site up to 30 years.

The Environment Ministry presented the projection at a meeting held in the city of Fukushima on March 27. It announced the plan to secure 640-1,150 hectares, or 40-70 percent of the areas for the interim storage sites, by the end of fiscal 2020. A ministry official explained how it calculated the figures, saying that the ministry has already contacted 1,240 landowners by visiting their homes and “there is a feeling” that they will cooperate with the ministry’s plan.

Up to 28 million cubic meters of waste contaminated with radiation that is currently stored across Fukushima Prefecture is planned to be brought to the storage sites, and the ministry expects to deliver 5 million to 12.5 million cubic meters of that to the facilities by the end of fiscal 2020. Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa told a March 27 news conference in the city of Fukushima that the ministry plans to remove contaminated soil stored at schools and residential areas first, adding, “We’ve allowed a wide range in the projected figures (as negotiations with landowners are underway).”

Meanwhile, Toshitsuna Watanabe, mayor of the town of Okuma where an interim storage facility is planned to be built, expressed appreciation for the figures presented by the ministry to some extent, saying, “Though it appears to be a rough projection, I recognize that they at least presented the target figures.” He added, “With no goals presented before this, local residents were beginning to suspect the central government’s willingness (to put efforts in the storage project). We hope the ministry undertakes the task to reach those targets.”

A 61-year-old landowner who has evacuated from Okuma to the Fukushima Prefecture city of Iwaki questioned the ministry’s plan, saying that 40-70 percent of land acquisition in five years is “too slow.”

“I have decided to sell the land, but the government hasn’t yet shown me the amount of compensation payment,” the man said.

The village of Iitate, currently under radiation evacuation orders, is working toward the lifting of the evacuation orders by the end of March 2017, excluding areas that are designated as “difficult-to-return” zones with high levels of radiation. Iitate Mayor Norio Kanno says, “According to the ministry’s plan, contaminated waste might not be removed (from the village) for five more years. There are piles of bags filled with contaminated soil and they are preventing disaster recovery efforts,” adding, “I want the ministry to speed up the land acquisition process.”

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Land acquisition for Fukushima dump site may reach 70% by 2020: ministry

FUKUSHIMA – The Environment Ministry will likely be able to acquire about 40 to 70 percent of the site it plans to use as an interim storage facility for radioactive soil and other waste from the Fukushima nuclear disaster by fiscal 2020.

The estimate is part of a five-year road map for building the facility that was presented Sunday to a council in the city of Fukushima representing the prefecture and local municipalities.

The 1,600-hectare (3,953-acre) site straddles the towns of Okuma and Futaba, home to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s heavily damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, where a triple meltdown was triggered by tsunami spawned by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

If 640 to 1,150 hectares are acquired, 5 million to 12.5 million cu. meters of radiation-tainted waste can be stored there. By fiscal 2020, the ministry aims to finish transporting radioactive soil now being stored at schools or residential areas.

Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa told reporters after the meeting that the ministry’s calculations are based on a realistic approach, adding it will continue lobbying local landowners to support the project.

To complete the project, the ministry will have to negotiate with 2,365 landowners whose property is on the targeted 1,600-hectare site. As of Friday, the ministry had visited about 1,240 of them and acquired a mere 22 hectares from 82 of them.

The negotiations are taking longer than expected due to the need to calculate official compensation. The planned facility is slated to store up to 22 million cu. meters of radioactive waste for decades.

By the end of the month, about 50,000 cu. meters of waste are expected to be transported to a provisional storage facility set up at the site.

In fiscal 2016 starting April 1, the ministry plans to transfer about 150,000 cu. meters to the site and increase the amount in stages, depending on progress with the land acquisition process.

March 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Interim storage schedule set for contaminated soil

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The Environment Ministry has compiled its first project schedule for the interim storage of soil and other matter contaminated by the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, sources said.

The ministry estimates that by fiscal 2020, it will have acquired between 640 and 1,150 hectares of land, which could store 5 million to 12.5 million cubic meters of contaminated soil.

This is the first concrete schedule the government has created. It is expected to be presented to local government officials at a Sunday meeting in Fukushima Prefecture.

If things go as planned, the government would acquire 40 percent to 70 percent of the land expected to be needed, which could store from 20 percent to slightly over 50 percent of the contaminated soil. However, it is unclear whether things will proceed as planned.

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There is currently estimated to be about 10 million cubic meters of contaminated soil in Fukushima Prefecture, which could eventually rise to 22 million cubic meters.

The national government wants to purchase about 1,600 hectares straddling the municipalities of Okuma and Futaba in the prefecture as an interim storage facility.

However, as of the end of February only 18.5 hectares, or about 1 percent of the land, had been acquired.

Still, about 960 of the 2,365 landowners have given approval for the government to conduct surveys to estimate compensation. A ministry official said, “The pace of purchases is expected to pick up.”

If between 100 and 460 hectares are acquired every year starting in fiscal 2016, the ministry’s estimate of 640 to 1,150 hectares would be reached by the end of fiscal 2020.

As land is acquired, more contaminated soil can be brought to the interim storage facility.

The ministry estimates that if 2 million to 6 million cubic meters are brought to the facility in fiscal 2020, that would bring the total amount to 5 million to 12.5 million cubic meters by the end of that fiscal year,


March 27, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment