Japan Begins Releasing Highly Contaminated Radiated Water From Fukushima

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Japan to release contaminated Fukushima water

Japan has announced plans to start releasing over a million tons of highly contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean this year, a senior government spokesman confirmed on Friday.

The controversial plan has been endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but the government has agreed to wait for “a comprehensive report” by the UN watchdog before releasing the radiated waste into the ocean, chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.

Alarabiya.net reports: Cooling systems at the plant were overwhelmed when a massive undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami in 2011, causing the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Decommissioning work is under way and expected to take around four decades.

The site produced 100 cubic meters (3,500 cubic feet) of contaminated water each day on average in the April-November period last year — a combination of groundwater, seawater and rainwater that seeps into the area, and water used for cooling.

The water is filtered to remove various radionuclides and moved to storage tanks, with more than 1.3 million cubic meters on site already and space running out.

“We expect the timing of the release would be sometime during this spring or summer,” after release facilities are completed and tested, and the IAEA’s comprehensive report is released, Matsuno said.

“The government as a whole will make the utmost efforts to ensure safety and take preventive measures against bad rumors.”

The comments are a reference to persistent concerns raised by neighboring countries and local fishing communities about the release plan.

Fishermen in the region fear reputational damage from the release, after attempting for years to reestablish trust in their products through strict testing.

Plant operator TEPCO says the treated water meets national standards for radionuclide levels, except for one element, tritium, which experts say is only harmful to humans in large doses.

It plans to dilute the water to reduce tritium levels and release it offshore over several decades via a one-kilometer-long (0.6-mile) underwater pipe.

The IAEA has said the release meets international standards and “will not cause any harm to the environment.”

Regional neighbors including China and South Korea, and groups such as Greenpeace, have criticized the plan.

The March 2011 disaster in northeast Japan left around 18,500 people dead or missing, with most killed by the tsunami.

Tens of thousands of residents around the Fukushima plant were ordered to evacuate their homes, or chose to do so.

Around 12 percent of the Fukushima region was once declared unsafe, but now no-go zones cover around two percent, although populations in many towns remain far lower than before.

34 Comments

    • Howdy mastercaster. Makes you want to reconsider ordering Salmon or Alaskan King Crab at a restaurant. Not to mention opening a can of Tuna.

  1. Tritium cannot be filtered out of the water. And they are going to release the Tritium contaminated water after only ONE half Life period. By dumping it just half a mile off shore they will be contaminating the fishing industry near Japan for the next 100 years. If they held the water for 40 years, they would reduce the radioactive contamination to just 26 times normal background levels. And that’s only if they can truly filter out all the other radionuclides. Makes you wonder just how “Green” nuclear power plants are.

  2. If you do serious research into Fukushima you will have to conclude that it was impossible to happen as a accident. There were toosny safety steps built in. They hide that though All in it together Harps were playing
    Look at the symbols Who have harps Which 2.?

    • Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA, January 3, 1961
      Frenchtown Charter Township, Michigan, USA, October 5, 1966
      Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA, March 28, 1979
      Chernobyl, Ukraine (former Soviet Union), April 26, 1986
      Fukushima, Japan, March 2011
      That’s 4 serious nuclear power plant accidents in the past 51 years, with many near serious accidents. Average is about one every 13 years or so. I guess we will be due for another one in 2024. Chernobyl demonstrated that when one really gets out of hand, it takes out an area half the size of Pennsylvania for 500 years or so. People call that Green Energy?

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