Tokyo, Aug 26 (EFE).- Initial tests on fish in waters caught near the Fukushima nuclear power plant contained no detectable amounts of the radioactive isotope tritium, Japan’s Fisheries Agency said Saturday.
This is the first such test on fish since the nuclear plant operator started to dump treated wastewater from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean amid protests both in and beyond the country.
The process could last around three decades and has been approved by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.
Fish samples were collected on Friday five kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant’s spillway, the Fisheries Agency said on its website.
The agency says it will continue to catch fish daily in the area for analysis and publish the results for at least the next month.
The Japanese Environment Ministry has also collected seawater samples in a radius of about 50 kilometers around the plant and is expected to announce initial results on Sunday.
The Japanese government decided in 2021 to resort to controlled discharge into the ocean to dispose of contaminated liquid that had accumulated in the nuclear facilities and exhausted all available storage space.
The water being discharged has been treated by a pumping and filtration system known as ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System).
This system can completely remove 62 types of radioactive materials, except tritium and Carbon-14.
The Fukushima water discharge will be monitored by the Japanese authorities and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure it conforms to safety standards.
The first discharge of about 7,800 tonnes of wastewater will take place over 17 days.
The National Federation Of Fisheries Cooperatives Association has strongly opposed the plan, arguing that the measure will prevent fishermen in Fukushima from being able to get rid of the stigma that has plagued their catches for years due to fears of radiation since 2011.
Some sectors of Japanese society, members of the international scientific community and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and neighboring countries, especially China, have also opposed the dumping of the water. EFE