” FUKUSHIMA–One in four landowners from localities around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have shown a willingness to sell their plots to allow for construction of a facility to temporarily store radioactive soil from cleanup work.
Many of them agreed to pre-sale land surveys apparently because they doubt they will ever be able to return to live in their homes due to lingering high radiation levels.
The Environment Ministry plans to build the facility on a 16-square-kilometer site straddling the towns of Okuma and Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, which co-host the nuclear plant.
Overall, 2,365 people own plots to be purchased.
The ministry said that by the end of July 570 of 850 landowners it had contacted agreed to cooperate with land surveys to evaluate the value of their plots as an initial step toward land acquisition.
The landowners in essence accepted the ministry’s guidelines for compensation with regard to the land purchase.
Ministry officials have been contacting landowners since September last year.
Surveys have been finished for plots owned by 300 individuals. But only five sales contracts have been concluded due to a shortage of ministry workers on the project.
The storage facility is expected to hold a maximum 22 million cubic meters of contaminated soil and debris up to spring 2045.
According to a senior ministry official, it will take “more than 10 years to secure all the land needed.”
The ministry is set to begin the construction work with plots it has acquired, rather than waiting until all the necessary plots are purchased. ”