MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Radioactive rice straw, contaminated after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is still stored at temporary warehouses long after the deadline to move it to a permanent location has expired, the Japans News reports.
Radioactive waste, estimated by the country’s Environment Ministry to amount to around 146,000 tons, was originally planned to be removed not later than January 2014. However, the government has still failed to choose appropriate locations to build waste disposal sites for the radioactive waste. In some areas these waste sites are met with fierce opposition. For instance, the mayor of the town of Shioya in the Tochigi Prefecture is backed by local residents in saying that he will “do everything [he] can to block this plan”.
Not everyone is against storing radioactive waste. Miyagi Prefecture has offered the government to inspect three cities where final disposal facilities could be built.
Rice straw, which was supposed to be used as fodder prior to the Fukushima disaster, is currently stored in the Tokyo prefecture and 11 other regions. Some of the warehouses are located near the rice paddies and local farmers worry about their impact. “Authorities say it’s safe, but will it really be safe, even when we’re hit by tornadoes or typhoons? I hope it moves somewhere else soon,” a rice farmer from Tome, Miyagi Prefecture, told the Japans News.
It is expected that once the waste is buried in the underground facilities covered with two layers of concrete it will emit far less radiation than the average annual radiation from natural sources - less than 0.01 millisievert as opposed to 2.1 millisieverts.