Low-level radioactive waste unrelated to power plants totals 670,000 drums

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe amount of low-level radioactive waste generated at the nation’s research and medical facilities totaled an equivalent of about 670,000 drums — each with a 200-liter capacity — according to a survey conducted by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).

The JAEA on Monday reported its survey results at a meeting of an expert panel of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.

It also estimated that it would cost about ¥220 billion to bury the waste deep underground.

The JAEA, which is responsible for generating most of the waste, will take the lead in the disposal operation, but nothing has been decided yet regarding a candidate site for a disposal facility, among other factors.

Radioactive materials are also handled at facilities other than nuclear power plants. Thus, radioactive waste includes contaminated gloves, structures built with concrete and other materials, and radioactive chemicals, as well as nuclear fuel used for research purposes.

The JAEA conducted the survey last year, questioning about 130 entities such as universities and nuclear fuel processing firms to find out the volume of radioactive waste in the nation.

The JAEA concluded that a disposal facility of about 100 hectares will be needed to bury the waste deep underground.Speech

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