Almost a decade after the Fukushima disaster, the government of Japan has decided to release more than one million tons of contaminated water into the sea, as reported by the local press on Friday (16). A formal statement from the Yoshihide Suga administration is due to be made later this month.
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The idea of dumping the material directly into the ocean was a suggestion made to the Japanese government by a committee of experts earlier this year
The plant is in the process of being decommissioned and is managed by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which over 1 million tons of contaminated water since the plant was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Since the catastrophe, the water taken from the nuclear plant has been stored in huge tanks that, according to the company, will run out of space by 2022.
The decision to dump contaminated water into the sea bothers neighboring countries like South Korea, which increased the requirement for radiation tests in food imported from Japan.
Gallons store contaminated water taken from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2019 image – Photo: Issei Kato / Reuters / Archive
Representatives of Japan’s fishing industry asked the government to do not allow the release of contaminated sea water. The Ministry of Industry invited representatives of the fishing industry to an audience.
“We are totally against a release of contaminated water into the ocean, as it could have a catastrophic impact on the future of Japan’s fishing industry,” said Hiroshi Kishi, president of the national federation of fishing cooperatives in a meeting with the government.
The head of the Fukushima region’s wholesalers and fishing processors, Toshihito Ono, said his entity opposes “vigorously releasing contaminated water into the ocean, as it would certainly damage the local reputation.”