Monday, September 26, 2011

Fukushima: Government to allow ash containing over 100,000 becquerels of cesium per kg to be buried - 26th Sept 2011

The Environment Ministry decided Sept. 25 to allow ash with radiation levels of more than 100,000 becquerels per kilogram to be buried if steps to prevent leaks of radioactive substances are properly taken, ministry officials said.

The ministry made the decision on contaminated ash following a similar decision on rubble contaminated with radioactive substances that spewed from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant after the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

From now on, ash with radiation levels of over 100,000 becquerels is required to be solidified with cement and can be buried at facilities where measures are in place to prevent the seeping of rainwater and the leakage of contaminated ash to groundwater.

The ministry is also considering utilizing existing permanent disposal sites that are surrounded by concrete walls to bury toxic heavy metals or those sites equipped with measures to stop such materials from leaking into groundwater.

Of a survey of about 650 industrial waste incineration plants in Tokyo, Fukushima and 14 other prefectures, the ministry checked the density of radioactive cesium at 110 of them and found ash with a radiation level of 144,200 becquerels of cesium per kilogram at one incineration plant in Fukushima. Source