New Delhi: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday said that his government has decided to discharge contaminated radioactive wastewater in Fukushima Prefecture into the sea amid domestic and international opposition. Suga made the announcement after convening a meeting of relevant ministers to formalize plans to release the radioactive water accumulated at a nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been generating a massive amount of radiation-tainted water since an accident that happened triggered by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami as it needs water to cool the reactors. The plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said it will take around two years for the release to start.
The water has been treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, to remove most contaminants. However, things like radioactive tritium are hard to filter out.
Japan’s fishery industry and neighbouring countries have voiced strong opposition to the plan.
The United States also extended support to Japan stating that Tokyo appears to have adopted an approach in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards.
The US Department of State spokesperson in a press statement said, “The United States is aware that the Government of Japan (GOJ) examined several options related to the management of the treated water currently being stored onsite at the Fukushima Daiichi site. In this unique and challenging situation, Japan has weighed the options and effects, has been transparent about its decision and appears to have adopted an approach in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards. We look forward to the GOJ’s continued coordination and communication as it monitors the effectiveness of this approach.”
(With inputs from Xinhua and ANI)