The government plans to set up a new bureau in the Environment Ministry to unify the handling of radioactive waste generated by the 2011 Fukushima disaster, informed sources said.
The bureau, which will also take on recycling management, will have around 200 staff and be created through a ministry reorganization in fiscal 2017 starting in April that will change the size of its workforce.
The reorganization will also abolish the Environmental Policy Bureau.
The government hopes the move will improve cooperation with municipalities damaged by the triple meltdown triggered at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Thus far, measures to deal with radioactive waste, including decontamination, have been handled by three sections — the Waste Management and Recycling Department, the Environmental Management Bureau and the Director-General for Decontamination Technology of Radioactive Materials.
The ruling parties’ task forces on accelerating reconstruction from March 2011 are requesting the integration move in response to complaints from the affected municipalities.