MUTSU, Japan, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Shingo Mimura, governor of Japan's Aomori prefecture, officially announced that Aomori would allow facilities to be built for the temporary storage of spent nuclear fuel.
The containment units are to be built in Mutsu city.
Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that the decision follows the Aomori prefectural government and the Mutsu city government signing an accord with Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will build and operate the facilities by 2010, the first of their kind in Japan. The agreement stipulates that Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co. will remove spent nuclear fuel from the storage facilities before the term for storage, up to 50 years, expires.
Mimura said, "(The prefecture) will accept (the planned construction of storage facilities), and we believe safety should be given top priority."
Two storage buildings capable of holding up to 5,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel will be built in an area near Sekinehama Port in Mutsu.
The construction cost for the facilities is estimated at about $865 million.