Japan may dump radioactive water into Pacific by mid-2022

Updated: Sep 11, 2019, 10:54 IST | Agencies

TEPCO has collected over 1 million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. File pic/AFP
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. File pic/AFP

Japan's environment minister said on Tuesday that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will have to dump radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

TEPCO has collected over 1 million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

By mid-2022, the facility won't have enough space to store more contaminated water. "The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it," Reuters quoted Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada as saying on Tuesday. "The whole of the government will discuss this, but I would like to offer my simple opinion," said Harada, who is expected to leave the cabinet in a reshuffle on Wednesday.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. File pic/AFP
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. File pic/AFP

However, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said it was not the policy of the government. "It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," said Suga, seen as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's right-hand man.

Suga said an expert panel was still working to find a way to dispose of the water and was taking into account concerns of local fishermen, who fear it could destroy their livelihood. The government has not yet given a timeframe for its final decision.

1m
Tonnes of contaminated water at site

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