Tokyo, April 10
The Japanese government may announce plans to dispose of radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, informed sources said.
The sources said on Friday that the government will convene a meeting and announce the decision as early as April 13 to formalise plans to release radioactive water that has accumulated at the plant into the Pacific Ocean.
While treated, the radiation-tainted water, stored in tanks at the plant in Japan’s northeast, is expected to reach capacity next year.
The plant had its key cooling functions knocked out after being battered by a massive earthquake-triggered tsunami in 2011, resulting in the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.
The tainted water contains radioactive tritium as a result of being used to cool down melted nuclear fuel at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
Japan’s Fisheries Industry has voiced its ardent opposition to the plan which may start in around two years according to the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), as the plan could cause further damage to the industry’s reputation.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said on Friday that while working on the concerns of the Fisheries Industry, the government hopes to seek cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency and other global organisations, while maintaining transparency over the matter.
A number of countries and regions continue to impose restrictions on Japanese agricultural and fishery products as a result of the Fukushima crisis amid continued concerns about the safety of the produce.
Meanwhile, some of Japan’s neighbours have voiced their concerns about radioactive wastewater being discharged into the Pacific.