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Japan map showing potential nuclear waste disposal sites to be released

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko (Mainichi)

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko on July 18 announced the forthcoming release of a map showing the most appropriate areas in Japan to bury high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

    Speaking to reporters following a Cabinet meeting on July 18, Seko said the "scientific property map" would be released as early as this month.

    "Providing the map is the first step in the long path toward achieving final disposal," Seko said. He added that an informal decision had been made to hold explanatory meetings across Japan after the release of the map.

    The map will divide Japan into four colors designating the suitability of various areas for permanently storing highly radioactive waste. Areas that are within 15 kilometers of a volcano, that are near an active fault, or that are bountiful in mineral resources, will be "presumed to have undesirable properties" and be excluded from the list of possible sites.

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