An idyllic town on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is embroiled in a hot debate over nuclear waste, as its mayor weighs building a disposal facility there over the opposition of the governor as well as surrounding towns. Suttsu Mayor Haruo Kataoka two weeks ago said he is considering having the town take part in a preliminary survey toward the construction of a nuclear waste facility. Municipalities that participate in the survey stand to receive up to 2 billion yen ($18.8 million) from the national government. “As long as we have nuclear reactors, we are going to have to dispose of the waste somewhere in Japan,” Kataoka said Wednesday, explaining his decision. Suttsu is located about 50 km from Hokkaido Electric Power’s Tomari nuclear power plant. The mayor has toned down his rhetoric somewhat since the original announcement, due to pushback from the town council and industry groups. He said he would not make his final decision in September as originally planned, but still appears committed to the idea.
Nikkei Asian Review 27th Aug 2020 read more »