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Radioactive soil to be used to build roads set to spark uproar

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A public outcry is expected when radioactive earth from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is recycled and used to construct roads and in other building projects.

“Fierce resistance would likely arise if the contaminated earth were used in prefectures other than Fukushima Prefecture,” said an official at an Environment Ministry study meeting on June 7.

But Shinji Inoue, senior vice environment minister, said the ministry will proceed with recycling despite expected opposition.

“We are set to promote the reuse (of contaminated earth) by endeavoring to gain public understanding across the country, including Fukushima Prefecture,” he said after the meeting.

Polluted earth will be covered by either clean earth, concrete, asphalt or other material to minimize radiation exposure to construction workers and residents living near the facilities built using radioactive soil.

Twenty-two million cubic meters, the equivalent of 18 Tokyo Dome stadiums, is the amount of contaminated soil expected to be produced in total from the cleanup work in areas around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and elsewhere in the prefecture. It is unclear how much of the polluted soil will be used in building projects.

Ministry officials decided at the meeting that the soil to be recycled will be restricted to that in which radioactivity measures 8,000 becquerels or less per kilogram.

The recycling is aimed to cut the amount of radioactive soil to be shipped to other prefectures for final disposal.

If the soil has more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram, the central government is obliged under law to safely dispose of it.

The ministry envisages the use of contaminated earth for raising the ground level in the construction of roads, seawalls, railways and other public works projects.

It can also be used to cover waste at disposal sites.

The 22 million cubic meters of soil is to be kept at the interim storage site to be built near the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture. After being kept there for about 30 years, it is scheduled under law to be dumped outside the prefecture.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606080056.html

June 8, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive soil to be used in base layer for new roads

Normalizing radiation. Distributing it.

The Environment Ministry on Tuesday drew up a basic plan to use soil contaminated with radioactive substances from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to build roads.

Under the basic plan, tainted soil with relatively low radioactive cesium concentrations of up to 5,000 to 8,000 becquerels per kilogram will be used to form the base layer of roads.

This level will then be covered with uncontaminated soil, asphalt and other material with at a thickness of at least 50 to 100 cm.

By covering radioactive soil with untainted material, the health risk for residents living in nearby areas will be minimized as their annual radiation dose will be kept to 0.01 millisievert or less, according to the ministry.

The ministry plans to launch a verification project in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, as early as this summer to test the use of contaminated soil as the base material for road construction.

Tainted soil in the prefecture, generated from decontamination work following the March 2011 accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. nuclear power station, will be kept in an interim storage facility near the nuclear plant for final disposal at a site outside the prefecture within 30 years.

The interim facility, located in an area that straddles the towns of Okuma and Futaba, is believed to store up to 22 million cubic meters of contaminated soil. The latest plan will help the ministry facilitate the reuse of contaminated soil within and outside the prefecture to reduce the amount to be transferred to the final disposal site.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/07/national/radioactive-soil-to-be-used-in-base-layer-for-new-roads/#.V1a-cPl97IV

June 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment