Japan’s nuclear authority agrees to discharge Fukushima water into the sea | Abroad

The project entails gradually draining one million liters of water off the coast of Fukushima, in the Pacific Ocean. The water is contaminated with tritium radionuclides and comes from rain, groundwater, or injected water needed to cool the cores of many of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. Those nuclear reactors melted in March 2011, when a tsunami struck the nuclear power plant. Reservoirs currently storing water will not suffice. That is why there are plans to gradually drain the water into the sea. In Japan and abroad, the so-called ternary waters are already being deposited into the sea at active nuclear facilities.

Neighboring countries China, South Korea, and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace have already criticized the project. In addition, local fishermen fear a negative reputation. The International Atomic Energy Agency stresses that the plan, which is due to start in 2023, follows international standards and will not harm the environment. Experts say that tritium is not dangerous to humans unless it comes into contact with high concentrations. If the discharge at sea occurred over several decades, as Tepco intends, then such a situation would not arise. Tepco has yet to obtain approval from Fukushima Prefecture and municipalities near the plant.

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Denton Watson

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