Residents in northeastern Japan file suit to halt burning of Fukushima-linked radioactive waste

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-11 20:28:24|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Residents from the city of Osaki in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Fukushima, filed a lawsuit on Thursday in the hope of suspending the burning of radioactive waste stored in the city and linked to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The lawsuit was filed with the Sendai District Court and the plaintiffs are aiming to halt the 21.6 million yen (193,000 U.S. dollars) that has been budgeted for the incineration on the grounds a local public association in charge of the incineration has not adhered to a prior agreement to satisfy the residents' safety concerns.

Osaki City has been temporarily storing around 6,000 tons of grass and rice straw that contain radioactive substances from the Fukushima disaster.

The levels of radiation in the tainted grass and rice straw are below the government's safety standards, yet the association is scheduled to burn the waste starting Monday.

"The agreement was a strong message that we would protect the environment for future generations. The public administration has ignored the residents' wishes," Tadaetsu Abe, who heads the group of plaintiffs, was quoted as saying.

The local public association, for its part, has yet to comment on the matter.

A request to audit the city's budget for the incineration made by 170 concerned residents was previously turned down in September.

The radiation-tainted waste that the association intends to burn contains radioactive substances of up to 8,000 becquerels per kilogram, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Following the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011 that occurred after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami knocked out the plant's key cooling functions, masses of radioactive substances were released into the air, ground and sea causing widespread contamination.