Japan’s atomic energy specialists are discussing a plan to make the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant a storage site for radioactive waste from the crippled station run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. The Atomic Energy Society of Japan is studying the proposal.

Radiation leaks from the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima rank the accident on the same scale as the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The 20-kilometer exclusion zone around Fukushima has forced the evacuation of 50,000 households, extermination of livestock and disposal of crops, drawing comparisons with the Ukraine plant.

About 90 percent of the world’s 270,000 tons in used nuclear fuel is stored at reactor sites, mostly in ponds seven meters deep, such as those exposed at the Fukushima site when hydrogen explosions blew the roofs off reactor buildings.