Japan will soon announce the release of water into the sea in Fukushima

Tokyo (AP) —The Japanese government has decided to dispose of a large amount of treated but still radioactive water stored in the tanks of the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant by releasing it into the Pacific Ocean, local media said. Reported on Friday. Years in protest and safety concerns.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told top executives of the Fisheries Association on Wednesday that his government believed that release into the sea was the most realistic option and that the final decision would be made “within a few days.”

Industry ministry officials said a formal announcement was due soon at a major ministerial meeting on Friday. According to reports such as Kyodo News, the ministerial meeting was held on Tuesday at the earliest, and it was not confirmed that the final decision had already been reached.

After seven years of discussions on how to dispose of water without further damaging Fukushima’s image and local fisheries and other businesses, government committees are most realistic to release it into the sea two years ago. And created a report. The report mentioned evaporation as a less desirable option.

The release is expected to begin approximately two years after TEPCO, the power company, has set up a facility approved by the nuclear authorities. Preliminary estimates predict that the gradual release of water will be completed before the plant cleanup is complete.

The release of water into the sea faces fierce opposition from local fishermen and residents. Hiroshi Kishi, chairman of the Japan Fisheries Cooperative, said he rejected Mr. Suga’s proposed liberation plan and demanded that the government explain how it would deal with damage to the fishery.

The government said it would do its best to support the local fishery and provide damages.

In 2011, a powerful 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami damaged the cooling system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, melting three cores.

For the next decade, cooling water has constantly escaped from the damaged containment vessel into the basement of the reactor building. To make up for the loss, additional water is pumped into the reactor to cool the molten fuel remaining in the reactor. In addition, water is pumped out and processed, part of it is recycled as cooling water, and the rest is stored in about 1,000 tanks in the factory.

TEPCO, an electric power company, is fighting about 1.24 million tons of radioactive water.

TEPCO and government officials say that small amounts of non-harmful tritium cannot be removed from water, but all other radionuclides selected for treatment can be reduced to safe levels for release. .. However, some scientists say the long-term effects of low-dose exposures from such large amounts of water on marine life are unknown.

Operators say the tank’s 1.37 million tonnes storage capacity will fill up in 2022 and the tank will need to be removed to make room for the decommissioning facility.

Japan has called for the involvement of the International Atomic Energy Agency in safety reviews and surveillance to increase transparency and public confidence.

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