Incinerator in Iitate test-launched ahead of operation from mid-December

An ignition ceremony was held for an incineration plant in the Warabidaira district of Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture on Nov. 25 ahead of full operation from mid-December to handle radioactive waste from Iitate and five other municipalities. It is the first facility in the northeastern Japanese prefecture for reducing the volume of contaminated waste gathered from a broad area. The plant will incinerate not only waste from decontamination work and scrap from dismantled houses in Iitate, but also rice straw and pasture grass from Fukushima, Minamisoma and Date cities plus Kunimi and Kawamata towns as well as sewage sludge from Fukushima, Minamisoma and Kunimi. This will help speed up the disposal of sludge being kept at sewage treatment facilities in the respective municipalities. The Environment Ministry, operator of the Iitate incinerator, said it will be capable of processing 240 tons of waste a day. The plant is scheduled to be in service for three years in principle, but can be extended by a maximum of two years depending on the amount of waste left to be treated. Incinerated ash containing no more than 100,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive substances will be transported to a landfill site equipped with a seepage control system in Tomioka town, whereas ash with concentrations exceeding 100,000 becquerels per kilogram will be moved to an interim storage facility for radioactive waste. (Translated by Kyodo News)