Kishida Says to Call on Municipalities to Accept N-Plant Waste Surveys

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at the House of Representatives on Thursday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that the government will proactively call on municipalities to accept surveys for selecting a final disposal site for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear plants.

“Instead of waiting for (local governments) to raise their hands, we will make requests in stages, including for considering (accepting) surveys,” Kishida said at a plenary meeting of the House of Representatives.

The government is currently conducting literature surveys, the first stage of the final disposal site selection process, in the town of Suttsu and the village of Kamoenai, both in Hokkaido.

In the two municipalities, however, there are strong concerns about the safety of a disposal site, making it uncertain whether the government can proceed with the selection process.

Kishida stressed that the government will accelerate its efforts on the matter. “We’ll work to get many municipalities interested in (the matter),” he added.

Late last year, the government decided to rebuild nuclear plants in the country and allow them to operate for a longer time. Meanwhile, the lack of a final disposal site for nuclear plant waste remains a challenge.