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Friday, July 27, 2012

Decontamination work begins in Fukushima Prefecture city amid concerns over incinerator plans

TAMURA, Fukushima -- Full-scale decontamination work under state jurisdiction began July 27 in the Miyakoji district in this Fukushima prefectural city of Tamura while an Environment Ministry plan to build a temporary incinerator is still up in the air due to opposition from local residents.

The decontamination work represents the first state-sponsored project to decontaminate areas within 20 kilometers of the crippled Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant.

But local residents are up in arms over the Environment Ministry's plan to install a temporary incinerator to burn decontaminated waste due to possible safety worries, and claim a briefing on the project was held only one month ago.

According to Miyakoji district residents and others, the ministry's Fukushima environmental revival office held a briefing on decontamination work for district residents on June 9. But ministry officials made no mention of the incinerator project on private land and revealed the project only during a meeting with district executives after the briefing. The Fukushima office said the ministry has won consent from landowners but some district executives demanded a briefing on the project for district residents.

The Fukushima office held a briefing on the incinerator project for district residents on June 24. Officials from the office explained that the incinerator will be equipped with a bag filter to remove particles inside exhaust gas and radioactive cesium will be below detection limits. They said the incinerator will become operational in October but residents around the proposed site balked, saying cesium will be concentrated and pose a danger if decontaminated waste is burned. Read More