47-year-old Ichiro Matsui is the newly elected governor of Osaka Prefecture who is all for accepting the disaster (and radioactive) debris from Tohoku. He convened the first meeting of experts to decide on the guidelines for accepting the debris, but the meeting was "rudely", according to him, interrupted by the citizens who don't want any radioactive debris to be burned and buried in Osaka. The meeting was canceled after one hour.
The governor was so incensed at this inappropriate behavior by the citizens who were supposed to just observe the meeting that he decided to keep the citizens in a separate room next time and make them watch the live feed of the meeting so that they don't interrupt the meeting with their silly questions about radiation.
The ex-governor of Osaka, 42-year-old Toru Hashimoto, is also very eager to accept debris. Now that he has become the new mayor of Osaka City, he and Matsui (they are of the same party called Osaka Restoration Association) want to push hard for the radioactive debris brought to Osaka. Pesky citizens be damned.
Will Osaka people put up with this? (Well, enough people voted for this guy, so maybe they will.)
(Here's the picture of the powerful duo. Governor Matsui is on the left, ex-Governor Hashimoto is on the right. He looks so youthful that I've started to think he hasn't graduated from the middle school yet.)
From Sankei Shinbun Western Japan edition (12/7/2011):
Regarding the acceptance of disaster debris from the March 11 earthquake/tsunami, the Osaka prefectural government held a meeting on December 7 of experts to decide on the guidelines of debris disposal within the prefecture. But the meeting was disrupted from the citizens who were observing the meeting and spoke up against the acceptance due to the concern for the effect of radioactive materials, and it had to be abandoned after about one hour. Governor Ichiro Matsui, who has already expressed willingness to accept the debris, was very displeased, and said "I don't think it was appropriate for [these people] to interrupt the meeting that discussed scientific knowledge. He plans to have the citizens observe the meeting in a different room via the [live] monitor.
According to the prefectural government, citizens who were against accepting the debris spoke up one after another, asking to know whether there would really be no damage to health. Remarks from the observers are not allowed. Professor Takao Yamamoto of Osaka University, who was the chairman of the meeting, and others decided that the meeting couldn't proceed in an orderly way, and canceled the meeting.
Acceptance of disaster debris in Osaka was first expressed in May in the prefectural assemby by the then-governor and soon-to-be mayor of Osaka City Toru Hashimoto. Governor Matsui also says, "If the safety is confirmed, we should accept the debris to help the victims of the disaster."
According to the guidelines for processing the debris that are to be discussed in the meeting, the debris with the density of radioactive cesium of 200 becquerels/kg will be first sorted and crushed in the disaster areas, then it will be put in sealed containers and brought to Osaka by ship. After landing in Osaka, the debris will be further sorted and crushed by private companies that has the facilities to prevent the escape of radioactive materials. Then it will be transported to municipal and private waste processing plants and burned. Before burying the ashes, the density of radioactive cesium is to be measured and it should be less than one-quarter of the national safety limit.
The Osaka government had planned to decide on the guidelines before the end of this year, and to start negotiation with the disaster-hit prefectures and with the municipalities in Osaka that have incineration plants. However, almost all of 10,000 messages received at the government are against accepting the debris. Coupled with the cancellation of the meeting on December 7, it looks difficult to decide on the guidelines before the end of this year.
Just like Tokyo. Osaka will burn the radioactive debris in the municipal incineration plants all over Osaka. These criminal people are duly elected. Viva democracy.
Debris with 200 becquerels/kg of cesium will burn to produce ashes that may have 6600 becquerels/kg of cesium (33 times concentration). I don't know what national standard they are talking about, but assuming it is 8000 becquerels/kg that is decreed "safe" for burying in the landfill by the Ministry of [Destruction of] the Environment, Osaka's ashes will be too radioactive to bury with abandon. Well I suppose they can simply mix and match and burn to lower the radioactivity.