12 Years After Fukushima Disaster, Unresolved Radioactive Legacy: Almost 35k Tons of Fukushima Sewage Sludge Still Being Stored in Kanto Region!
The aftermath of the Fukushima disaster continues to haunt Japan as 34,200 metric tons of radioactive sewage sludge remain stored in the Kanto region, 12 years after the catastrophic nuclear meltdown, according to an investigation by the Mainichi Shimbun. This massive amount of tainted waste, equivalent to a year’s worth of burned sludge ash from Tokyo’s 23 wards, has been kept in temporary storage by major local bodies due to the challenges of finding suitable disposal sites. #EnvironmentalConcerns, the issue of radioactive waste management is a pressing concern that requires attention.
The discovery was made after the Mainichi Shimbun conducted interviews with 15 local bodies, including Tokyo and six other prefectures in the Kanto region, as well as their capital cities and government-designated major cities. It was revealed that the Yokohama Municipal Government had stored approximately 26,600 tons of radioactive waste within its sewage facilities as incinerated ash as of February 2023. Similarly, the Kawasaki Municipal Government had kept 3,435 tons of such waste in its port areas. Despite efforts to manage and dispose of the waste, the cities are grappling with the challenge of finding a final disposal site for the radioactive ash, as the disposal of hazardous waste is complicated by local protests and other factors. #LongTermManagement
The situation is further complicated by the fact that a total of around 4,180 tons of radioactive sewage sludge requiring treatment by the central government remains in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, and Chiba prefectures, as reported by the Ministry of the Environment and other sources. The national government’s plan to establish treatment facilities in state-owned forests and other sites, in accordance with the special measures law on radioactive contamination response, has faced setbacks due to protests from local residents and other challenges. #NuclearMeltdown
On the positive side, some local bodies, including Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa prefectures, have successfully disposed of all radioactive sewage sludge under their control, as indicated in their responses to the survey. The cities of Mito, Saitama, and Chiba have also reported similar progress. It is estimated that these local bodies have disposed of at least 120,000 tons of radioactive waste, based on the peak amount of sludge they had stored. #RadioactiveLegacy
The issue of radioactive waste from the Fukushima disaster continues to be a contentious and pressing concern in Japan, as the long-term management and disposal of the contaminated waste remains unresolved. With challenges in finding suitable disposal sites, protests from local residents, and environmental concerns, it is clear that the legacy of the Fukushima disaster persists. As Japan continues to grapple with the aftermath of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, finding a sustainable solution to manage radioactive waste remains a critical priority.
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