The Japanese government on 28 October began full operation of a facility, to store radioactive waste resulting from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster after running it on a trial basis for about four months.
The store, located between the towns of Okuma and Futaba in Fukushima prefecture, is designed to store contaminated soil and other waste resulting from decontamination work for up to 30 years pending construction of a final disposal facility. However, it is only half completed and cannot accommodate all of the 22 cubic metres of contaminated waste estimated to have accumulated in Fukushima. The government plans to secure a total of 1600 hectares of land for the facility, which is expected to cost JPY1,600bn ($14bn) in construction and related costs. So far it has been able to buy only 40% of the land needed due to opposition from local landowners.
Waste for incineration (plants and trees) is separated from contaminated soil, which is sorted into different categories depending on the caesium contamination, for underground storage.