Tokyo eyeing Tokyo for trial runs on reusing Fukushima soil

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Tokyo eyeing Tokyo for trial runs on reusing Fukushima soil

A temporary storage site for soil contaminated from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in February. The bags of radioactive waste were due to be shipped to an interim storage facility. The Yukiko Sakamoto The Environment Ministry is eyeing the Tokyo metropolitan area for its first trial runs outside Fukushima Prefecture on reusing soil decontaminated after the 2011 nuclear disaster, The Asahi Shimbun learned on December 6.

The tests will take place at three government-related facilities in Tokyo, Saitama and Ibaraki prefectures.

But authorities said they had yet to gain the understanding of residents at all three candidate sites about the reuse of soil, which still contains low-level radioactive substances.

After the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No, decontamination work was carried out on soil exposed to radioactive materials. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The interim storage facility in Fukushima Prefecture holds the decontaminated soil but a law requires the final disposal of the soil outside the prefecture by 2045.

The volume of decontaminated soil in Fukushima Prefecture, excluding the difficult-to- return zones where radiation levels remain high, is about 14 million cubic meters, enough to fill 11 Tokyo Domes.

Reuse of the soil is part of the government's efforts to reduce that volume before disposal.

The ministry is considering conducting the tests at Shinjuku Imperial Garden in Tokyo, the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture and the National Environmental Research and Training Institute in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.

On December 16th, Tokorozawa city will hold a briefing on the plan for about 50 residents.

Under the experiment in Tokorozawa, decontaminated soil will be reused for lawns, and tests will be conducted to verify changes in radiation doses in the air.

The soil will be used for parking lots and flower beds for the trial runs in Tokyo and Ibaraki Prefecture.

Environmental Minister Akihiro Nishimura said at a news conference on December 6. "We would like to use the experiments to gain public understanding of the reuse of the soil.

Only soil that is less than 8,000 becquerels per kilogram, the threshold set by the government, will be used in the trial runs.

The ministry has been conducting experiments on reusing the decontaminated soil for farmland in Fukushima Prefecture.

Plans for similar tests in the cities of Nihonmatsu and Minami-Soma fell through after residents opposed.