Japan to release radioactive Fukushima water into the sea

Japan releases radioactive Fukushima water into the sea Media

As of September this year, the stored water totaled 1.23 million tons, filling up 1,044 tanks. To avoid delays in decommissioning, we need to make a decision quickly, "he said at a press conference".

"With the foremost priority placed on the protection of our citizens' health and safety, the government will continue to pay keen attention to Japan's activities related to the disposal of the contaminated water and will seek to craft measures in cooperation with the global community", it added.

Last week, officials from the Japanese fishing industry urged the government not to allow the water to be released into the sea, saying it would undo years of work to restore its reputation.

Most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed using a complex filtration process.

Tritium is only harmful to humans in very large doses, experts say.

Local fishers and residents have been opposed to the release into the sea due to fears consumers would shun seafood caught nearby.

It is common practice for nuclear plants around the world to release water that contain traces of tritium into the ocean.

Reports say the water will be diluted inside the Fukushima facility before its release, with the whole process taking 30 years.

Almost a decade on from the tsunami, this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo were meant to symbolise Japan's comeback from the disaster.

The controversy over the release of water has become further complaited with the Fukushima nuclear plant located less than 60 km from the Olympic venue with the games set to take place next year.

During Tokyo's bid to host the Olympic Games in 2013, then-prime minister Shinzo Abe told members of the International Olympic Committee that the Fukushima facility was "under control".

But further issues have surfaced since then, and TEPCO admitted in 2018 that its filtration systems had not removed all unsafe material from the water.

Fishermen have fiercely opposed this disposal method at the plant, which experienced a triple meltdown in March 2011 following a magnitude-9.0 quake and tsunami, over fears of resulting negative publicity hurting their industry. The meltdown was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

According to the National Police Agency, some 18,430 people died or were missing as a result of the natural disaster and tsunami. Last month, a Japanese high court upheld a ruling ordering the government and the plant's operating company to pay a further $9.5m (£7.3m).

Authorities are encouraging evacuees to return, but the population in the Fukushima prefecture has more than halved from some two million in the pre-disaster period.



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