The Japan Times has reprinted an AP article about a research facility located in a tunnel located 350 meters below a "sleepy" dairy town, Horonobe, population 2,500, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
While there is no operating deep geologic repository (DGR) for high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) anywhere in the world, several countries claim to be closing in on opening dates: Finland, 2020; France, 2025; Sweden, 2029.
Ontario Power Generation has proposed a DGR for so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes at its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario. The entryway for the permanent dumpsite would be located on a peninusla jutting out into Lake Huron, within less than a mile from the shore of the drinking water supply for 40 million people in 8 U.S. states, 2 Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American/First Nations -- the Great Lakes. The licesning proceeding for this Canadian DUD (the sarcastic name coined by Dave Martin of Greenpeace Canada, short for Deep Underground Dump) is nearly complete.
But the dumpsites are highly controversial. The Canadian DUD is being fiercely resisted, including by opponents on the other side of the Great Lakes, as in Michigan.
Many unanswered questions linger even regarding the "lead dump" in the world, targeted at Onkalo, Finland, in the shadow of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. This is made clear by the artful documentary film Into Eternity, which interviews only dump proponents, not opponents. Even the proponents can't agree whether or not to warn future generations about the dump by marking it, some fearing markers will simply lure future generations to intrude into the site, as for recovering the precious metals or powerful materials (such as potentially weapons usable plutonium).
Nationwide grassroots organizing, as well as Nevada's fierce resistance, led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) defeated the Yucca Mountain HLRW dumpsite proposal, pursued by the U.S. DOE, nuclear power industry, and its friends in Congress from 1987 to 2010, when the Obama administration cancelled it.