TOKYO, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The town of Suttsu in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido in Japan said on Thursday that it was considering applying for a preliminary study into its land to gauge its suitability for hosting a deep-underground disposal site for high-level radioactive nuclear waste.
The town is the country's first municipality to make public its policy of accepting the survey since the central government released a map indicating potential radioactive waste final disposal sites in 2017.
Municipalities that accept the research can receive up to 2 billion yen (18.75 million U.S. dollars) in state subsidies over two years. The town said it views the move as a "solution to the population decline and financial difficulties" that it is facing.
Some local residents voiced concerns. "I don't want a nuclear waste disposal site here because I have children," said a woman in her 30s."I hope our town can value the safety of children more than money."
The Hokkaido town said that it will decide whether to apply for the research after discussions with local assembly members and relevant organizations on Aug. 26.
The decision will likely stir controversy as the government of Hokkaido has an ordinance opposing the introduction of nuclear waste, which states it "must be dealt with carefully and therefore difficult to accept."
"We would like to confirm the situation, as we have not been directly informed about it," said Sen Kawahata, a Hokkaido government official in charge of energy policy. Enditem