Chiba city halts waste plant following radiation contamination


KASHIWA, Chiba (majirox news) — A waste disposal plant at Kashiwa City in Chiba prefecture has been shut down for the foreseeable future after incinerator ash registered excessively high radiation levels, the Kashiwa Municipal Government said Sept. 30. Chiba Prefecture is located directly east of Tokyo, and bordered by Ibaraki prefecture to the north.

Kashiwa became the first case in Japan where a waste disposal plant was shut down due to high radioactivity, with 78,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram detected in incinerator ash from the plant in June.

Incinerator ash containing 8,000 or more becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram must by law be contained in concrete and disposed.

Kashiwa, which has been shown as a hotspot affected by the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, operates two waste disposal plants. One is a newer type, but the older one currently shut down left more ash after incinerating the same amount of waste.

City officials said ash generated at the older center was used as a landfill after radioactivity was found to be below national safety standards. Officials added, however, that the plant was shut down on Sept. 7 following an inspection.

Incinerator ash generated at the city’s plants is usually used in landfills, with removal of the ash creating space for newly generated waste to be disposed. Kashiwa is keeping incinerator ash at the plant for the time being, but will only have enough space to keep accepting waste for a further 30 days.

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