Disasters & Accidents

Japan preparing to release Fukushima water into ocean

Tokyo, Aug 7 (EFE).- Japan is considering starting the release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean between late August and early September following a trilateral summit with the United States and South Korea, government sources said Monday.

Japan’s stance that the water would be released between spring and summer of this year remained unchanged although no specific date has been decided for the discharge of water, which would be done after security measures have been confirmed, top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference.

The process could begin as soon as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida returns from a trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea and the US on Aug. 18 at Camp David, Maryland.

Matsuno said that the government had already explained the process to the local fishermen and businesses and would continue to take steps to ensure that it is carried out safely.

Without disclosing the agenda for the upcoming summit, he added that Japan would continue making efforts to explain the scientific basis of the discharge with complete transparency.

Japan’s announcement comes after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on July 4 endorsed the Japanese government’s plans to release treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean and said that the measures taken by the country were “consistent with relevant international safety standards.”

Until now, the highly contaminated water generated by the power station has been processed by the plant’s Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), which removes most radioactive elements, except tritium, a radioisotope of hydrogen that is also naturally generated in the atmosphere.

The treated water is then returned to storage in drums before eventually being discharged into the sea.

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the operator of the damaged nuclear power plant, devised this method of discharge due to a lack of space to continue storing water in the tanks installed in the complex. EFE


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