when the Ministry of the Environment decides on the base plan after it runs the plan with the so-called experts that the ministry relies on (i.e. rubber-stamp).
Great leap forward in recovery and reconstruction.
From Yomiuri Shinbun (1:38AM JST 8/10/2011):
On August 10, the Ministry of the Environment made public the base plan for the ashes from burning the debris and sludge that contain radioactive materials from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. The plan would technically allow all the ashes to be buried.
The plan was given on the same day to the ministry's committee of experts to evaluate the safety of disaster debris disposal, and the ministry hopes to finalize the plan before the end of August.
In June, the ministry announced that the ashes that test up to 8,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium can be buried in the final disposal facilities. It called for the temporary storage of the ashes that exceed 8,000 becquerels/kg but didn't specify the final disposal procedure. In the base plan announced on August 10, to bury the ashes whose radioactive cesium exceeds 8,000 becquerels/kg, some measures need to be taken to prevent radioactive cesium from making contact with ground water, or to process the runoff appropriately. For the ashes that measure 8,000 to 100,000 becquerels/kg, the plan calls for: 1) processing facilities with roofs; 2) durable containers; 3) mixing the ashes with cement to solidify.
The whole plan is moot, because, on the side, the ministry has already told municipalities that they can "mix and match" - burn radioactive debris and sludge with non-radioactive debris and sludge to lower the radiation below whatever the limit the ministry sets, which has been 8,000 becquerels/kg and now 100,000 becquerels/kg if the plan gets an approval from the expert committee. The ministry set the limit for Fukushima Prefecture, then notified other prefectures to "refer to the Ministry's instruction to Fukushima Prefecture and notify the municipalities accordingly".
The Ministry of the Environment, which is likely to be selected as the new regulatory authority over the nuclear industry in Japan, is not very known for timely disclosure of information online. This base plan, if it is announced on their site, is buried so well that I can't find it. The latest information on the earthquake/tsunami disaster debris is dated July 28, which specified the "temporary" storage of the ashes that exceed 8,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium.
It looks like the ministry is simply making this "temporary" storage into permanent.
Expertise to deal with anything radioactive is non-existent at this ministry. Good luck Japan.