MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – The Japanese Government has given up on a plan to buy contaminated lands near the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant in order to build storage facilities for nuclear waste, Japan Today reported Tuesday.
According to online newspaper, local residents did not agree to the initial plan and refused to sell their lands, even though most of them are located within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the Fukushima-1 power plant and are still considered unfit for habitation due to their high levels of radioactive contamination.
The Japanese Environment Ministry decided to lease the land for a 30-year period instead.
Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto explained the new proposal in a meeting with Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and the mayors of Okuma and Futaba, whose towns were selected as interim storage facilities.
Ilshisara was criticized last month when he argued that local residents would be happy to sell their lands if the government threw cash at them. The Environment Minister then had to apologize, so now residents will need at least some time to accept an offer on leasing their lands.
On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a powerful earthquake and a subsequent tsunami caused a partial meltdown of three of the plant’s nuclear reactors as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and sea.
The incident was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.
Earlier, researchers found radioactive cesium fallout in Fukushima plants and animals.