Tokyo, July 28 (IANS) The Japanese government on Friday unveiled a plan to build underground repositories for the storage of highly radioactive waste from the disaster-struck Fukushima and other nuclear power plants in the country.
The government hopes to begin talks with local authorities in September to get their approval for building the repositories after explaining the technical advantages and logistics of every area, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told a press conference.
The plan drawn up by the government includes parts of the Japanese archipelago designated more favourable on account of their geological conditions, reports Efe news.
Around 900 locations have been identified as the safest places to store the waste, most of which are along the eastern coast of the main island of Honshu, including the Tohoku region, devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as well as the islands of Shikoku and Hokkaido.
In contrast, the areas designated as unfavourable are those located near seismic faults and hence more prone to earthquakes, or those with logistical access challenges.
Fukushima prefecture has not been considered as a possible site for the repositories as it is still in the process of reconstruction after the nuclear disaster.
The repositories will be located at a depth of around 300 metres and will be designed to last for around 10,000 years to match the long life of radioactive isotopes, according to the data of the ministry, which has put the budget to build and maintain the facilities at around 3.7 trillion yen ($33 billion).