The stockyards are facilities to temporarily store contaminated soil and other waste before it goes to a main storage facility that has yet to be built.
The ministry already has two such stockyards in the region of Futaba and Okuma towns. The two towns host the damaged nuclear plant. The stockyards can store 20,000 cubic meters of waste.
With the two new stockyards to be built in the same region, the ministry has now nearly secured enough land to carry out its plan to transfer more than 40,000 cubic meters of waste gathered from 43 municipalities in the prefecture in a year.
Work to transfer radioactive waste to the existing stockyards began in March. But the ministry has only transferred 3,000 cubic meters of waste. That’s less than a tenth of the planned annual total amount.
As for the entire site of the main storage facility planned for the same area, the Environment Ministry faces the challenge of negotiating with more than 2,300 landowners. Only a few have so far agreed to sell their land.
The planned main storage facility is for intermediate storage until a site is secured for final disposal. Legislation obliges the government to ensure the waste stored in the main storage facility is moved to a final disposal site outside Fukushima Prefecture within 30 years.