FUTABA, Fukushima — The transfer of radioactively contaminated soil from a temporary holding area to a mid-term storage site began here on March 25.
Similar work has been underway in neighboring Okuma since March 13, but Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa had asked for the work in his town to be put off until after a traditional period for visiting family graves, which ended on March 24.
“Although I feel that progress has been made towards improving the prefecture’s environment and recovery from the disaster, I have mixed feelings when I think about the heavy burden shouldered by the area accepting the waste,” Izawa stated in a news release.
Under current waste management plans, soil contaminated by the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster will be held at mid-term sites for up to 30 years.
On March 25, 12 of 800 bags containing a cubic meter of soil each were moved via two 10-ton trucks to a temporary holding area at the site of the planned mid-term storage facility, which has yet to be built. The site is around 3.2 kilometers from the temporary holding area.
Over the coming year, the Ministry of the Environment plans to clear 43,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil from temporary storage sites in 43 Fukushima Prefecture municipalities.