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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 March 19 - 25  > Decommissioning of reactors will produce 500,000m3 of low-level atomic waste
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2014 March 19 - 25 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Decommissioning of reactors will produce 500,000m3 of low-level atomic waste

March 23, 2014
Decommissioning all 56 nuclear reactors in Japan will produce a total of 496,000 cubic meters of low-level radioactive wastes. This is the first time the amount of the decommission-related atomic waste to be produced was revealed.

The figure was calculated from estimates submitted by nuclear reactor operators to the Industry Ministry’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, the Jiji Press reported on March 21.

Low-level radioactive wastes include reactor control rods, pressure vessels, liquid waste, filters, scrap metal, and concrete.

While these wastes are required to be disposed under the ground and monitored for up to 400 years, no disposal site has been established.

Regarding the decommissioning of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Japan Power Demonstration Reactor (Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture), which stopped its operations in 1976, 60% of its low-level atomic waste is still stored at the facility because of the lack of a proper disposal site.

The issue of nuclear waste is often compared to “an apartment without a toilet”. The difficulty of disposing of radioactive waste exists long after decommissioning. In order to avoid leaving an additional negative legacy, there is no choice but to create a Japan free from nuclear power generation.
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