2 Candidate Areas Named for Second-Stage N-waste Survey

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) —The industry ministry on Tuesday named two areas in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido as candidates for the second stage of the process to select final disposal sites for highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

The two are the entire town of Suttsu and part of the village of Kamoenai. Whether they will move on to the second stage, or “preliminary investigation,” will be formally decided after several related council meetings.

Suttsu and Kamoenai have been in the first stage, or “literature” survey, of the selection process since November 2020. They were the first to accept the survey.

In the first-stage survey, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, or NUMO, has identified locations that should be avoided for final disposal sites, based on more than 1,500 documents, including on active faults and volcanoes.

On Tuesday, the ministry released a draft report on the first-stage survey, saying that both Suttsu and Kamoenai can be candidates for the second-stage survey.

The selection process consists of three stages, also including “detailed investigation.”