Government officials want to consolidate the storage. So they proposed building facilities to hold the waste on an intermediate basis. They asked Fukushima's governor, Yuhei Sato, to let them build the storage units at two towns near the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Last week, Sato told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he would accept the plan.
Yuhei Sato / Fukushima Governor
Shinzo Abe / Japanese Prime Minister
The proposed area for the facilities covers about 16 square kilometers. It straddles the towns of Futaba and Okuma
High radiation levels forced all the residents to evacuate. They still haven't been able to go home. Now, the decision to host the storage facilities is creating mixed feelings.
"I'm against the plan. We won't be able to accept it until it's made clear whether we'll be allowed to go home."
"People somewhere will have to accept the waste, or Fukushima won't be able to make a recovery."
Despite the governor's approval, the plan faces further obstacles.
More than 2,000 people own pieces of land in the proposed storage area. Officials will have to negotiate compensation deals with each of them. But government official says this won't be easy. Many of the former residents inherited the property from their ancestors and have strong ties to the land.
Officials believe they may have a solution. They'll offer to lease the land so that former residents won't have to lose their property. Officials told us they would like to start discussing with land owners...as soon as possible.
And they're planning to start moving the waste to the new facilities in January.