Nuclear Waste Briefings In Coastal Areas

Nuclear waste briefings in coastal areas

Japanese energy agency officials say they will continue to hold public briefing sessions on the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

The government last year released a map showing which parts of the country may be scientifically suited to hosting an underground disposal site.

The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy has so far invited residents to 55 briefing sessions. Most have taken place in prefectural capitals.

On Monday, the agency held a meeting in Tokyo to explain the sessions to regional officials.

Agency officials said participants tend to question whether highly contaminated nuclear waste can safely be stored in earthquake-prone Japan. They also express concerns over how local people's opinions may be reflected.

The agency plans to hold further briefings, mainly in coastal areas that are considered to be relatively suitable for underground waste storage.

The districts cover about 900 municipalities.

The officials say they will decide on where to hold the briefing sessions after discussions with the municipalities.

The officials indicate they will continue approaching municipalities to investigate potential waste disposal sites. So far none have agreed to such studies.