Japan to Dump Over 1 Mn Tonnes of Fukushima Plant Water Into Ocean
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been generating a massive amount of radiation-tainted water.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday, 13 April, that his government has decided to discharge more than a million tonnes of treated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean amid domestic and international opposition, reported news agency AFP.
Suga made the announcement after convening a meeting to formalise plans to release the radioactive water accumulated at the nuclear plant, reported news agency Xinhua.
Suga said that disposing of the water was an "inevitable task" in the process of decommissioning the nuclear plant, according to AFP. However, the process is likely to take several years, with the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc saying it will take around two years for the release to start.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been generating massive amounts of radiation-tainted water after being battered by the massive earthquake-triggered tsunami in 2011, resulting in the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.
While the water has been treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, to remove most contaminants, things like radioactive tritium are hard to filter out, reports IANS.
Japan’s Fisheries Industry has voiced its ardent opposition to the plan, which could cause further damage to the industry’s reputation.
However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has endorsed the release, calling it similar to the disposal of waste water at other nuclear plants in the world.
A number of countries and regions continue to impose restrictions on Japanese agricultural and fishery products as a result of the Fukushima crisis amid continued concerns about the safety of the produce.
Concerns Over Decision
Meanwhile, some of Japan's neighbours have voiced their concerns about radioactive wastewater being discharged into the Pacific.
According to the AFP report, within hours of the announcement by Japan, China called it out as “extremely irresponsible.”
South Korea also joined in, calling it "a risk to the maritime environment."
But the US stated that Japan had been "transparent about its decision, and appears to have adopted an approach in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards."
(With inputs from IANS and AFP.)
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