Tepco, the company responsible for the nuclear power plant hit by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011, made the announcement yesterday. The radioactive water, which can no longer be stored, will first be diluted to reduce health risks. However, consumers are wary, so the government will buy seafood to compensate for the losses of local fishermen.
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) today announced that it plans to release contaminated water from the Fukushima power plant into the Pacific Ocean starting in the spring 2023.
Next month, a study of the seabed will begin to prepare the installation of the pipes that will carry the water from the nuclear plant damaged by 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
About 140 tonnes of radioactive water are generated each day as ground water and rain mix with the highly radioactive water used to cool melted nuclear fuel at the site.
This contaminated water is kept in storage tanks after most of the highly radioactive material is treated. But storage space is fast reaching capacity.
Back in April, the Japanese government decided that the only way to resolve the problem was to release the treated water into the Pacific Ocean.
Despite assurances by experts that the release will entail no health risks, the Japanese government is planning a series of measures to address the drop in sale of local seafood products.
After the 2011 disaster, the consumption of food products from Fukushima prefecture dropped drastically.
Following a meeting of ministers involved in the Fukushima file yesterday, the government decided that it would buy products that can be frozen and try to expand the sales network for those that cannot be stored for long.
For its part, Tepco announced that it will step up efforts to monitor the quality of sea water around the plant and publish a range of data to address consumers’ concerns about the safety of local seafood.
However, after denying compensation to some groups of victims, local residents have become wary of the company.
Faced with mounting criticism, Tepco president Tomoaki Kobayakawa, after attending yesterday’s ministerial meeting, told reporters that his company would do all it can to counter negative rumors and respond to any harm resulting from the release of contaminated water into the sea.