” The Environment Ministry has compiled its first project schedule for the interim storage of soil and other matter contaminated by the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, sources said.
The ministry estimates that by fiscal 2020, it will have acquired between 640 and 1,150 hectares of land, which could store 5 million to 12.5 million cubic meters of contaminated soil.
This is the first concrete schedule the government has created. It is expected to be presented to local government officials at a Sunday meeting in Fukushima Prefecture.
If things go as planned, the government would acquire 40 percent to 70 percent of the land expected to be needed, which could store from 20 percent to slightly over 50 percent of the contaminated soil. However, it is unclear whether things will proceed as planned.
There is currently estimated to be about 10 million cubic meters of contaminated soil in Fukushima Prefecture, which could eventually rise to 22 million cubic meters.
The national government wants to purchase about 1,600 hectares straddling the municipalities of Okuma and Futaba in the prefecture as an interim storage facility.
However, as of the end of February only 18.5 hectares, or about 1 percent of the land, had been acquired.
Still, about 960 of the 2,365 landowners have given approval for the government to conduct surveys to estimate compensation. A ministry official said, “The pace of purchases is expected to pick up.”
If between 100 and 460 hectares are acquired every year starting in fiscal 2016, the ministry’s estimate of 640 to 1,150 hectares would be reached by the end of fiscal 2020.
As land is acquired, more contaminated soil can be brought to the interim storage facility.
The ministry estimates that if 2 million to 6 million cubic meters are brought to the facility in fiscal 2020, that would bring the total amount to 5 million to 12.5 million cubic meters by the end of that fiscal year. ”