TOPIC

Contaminated Soil

The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has spread radioactive materials over a wide area and contaminated the environment. The government carried out decontamination work and removed soil and trees contaminated by radioactive materials. The amount of contaminated soil generated by the decontamination in Fukushima Prefecture is estimated to be about 14 million m3. This contaminated soil is being transported to an interim storage area built across Futaba and Okuma towns, Fukushima Prefecture, but the government has stated that it will be transported out of Fukushima Prefecture by March 2045 for final disposal. In order to reduce the amount of soil for final disposal, the Ministry of the Environment has announced a policy to “reuse” soil contaminated with less than 8,000 becquerels/kg for roads, railroads, green spaces, seawalls, and farmland. However, this will lead to the spread of radioactive materials into the environment. In the cities of Nihonmatsu and Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture, a demonstration project to use contaminated soil for road construction was attempted, but it was abandoned due to opposition from local residents.

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