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Friday, March 24, 2023

Japan will release radioactive water into the sea this year.

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Japan plans to release more than 1 million tons of water into the sea from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant this year.” After treatment, the levels of most radioactive particles are in line with national standards,” the operator said. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the proposal is safe, but neighboring countries have expressed concerns. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident was the worst nuclear accident since Chornobyl. Decommissioning has already begun, but it could take 40 years.

“We expect the timing of the release would be sometime during this spring or summer,” said chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno on Friday, adding that the government will wait for a “comprehensive report” from IAEA before the release. Every day, the plant produces 100 cubic meters of contaminated water, which is a mixture of groundwater, seawater, and water used to keep the reactors cool. It is then filtered and stored in tanks. With more than 1.3 million cubic meters on site, space is running out.

The water is filtered for most radioactive isotopes, but the level of tritium is above the national standard, operator Tepco said. Experts say tritium is very difficult to remove from water and is only harmful to humans in large doses. However, neighboring countries and local fishermen oppose the proposal, which was approved by the Japanese government in 2021. The Pacific Islands Forum has criticized Japan for its lack of transparency.

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