Disasters & Accidents

TEPCO claims Fukushima water release impact to be minimal

Tokyo, Nov 19 (EFE).- TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, said on Friday that the release of treated radioactive water from the plant would be carried out under international security standard and its environmental impact would be minimal.

The power company released the results of an assessment that estimated the possible impact on humans, animals and plants, along with various simulations, of the discharge spreading in the sea close the plant, where the water will be released in 2023.

“According to the assessment’s results, we believe that the impact on humans and the environment would be minimal,” a TEPCO official told EFE in an off-the-record briefing.

In April the Japanese government had approved the release of the contaminated water from the accident-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, once it is treated through the advance liquid processing system.

TEPCO said that after being treated by ALPS, the concentration of radioactive substances in the released water would be within the security standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

“The annual amount of tritium discharged (to the sea) will be less than 22 TBq (terabecquerel), the discharge management target for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) before the Accident,” TEPCO said in its assessment report.

According to the study, the water diluted through the ALPS system would be discharged deep inside the sea around 1 kilometer away from the coast and it estimated that the area with “higher tritium concentrations than the current surrounding area (…) will be limited to the area 2 to 3 kms from the station.”

As per the simulations, the biggest concentration of the radioactive element would be in some areas directly above the tunnel exit, but TEPCO insisted that the even here the tritium levels would be “significantly below the national regulatory standard and the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality.”

At present the contaminated water remains stored in over 1,000 tanks around the power station, having been used to cool the nucleus of the damaged reactors.

The water is treated through a process that removes most of the dangerous radioactive elements except tritium, an isotope which is dangerous in high concentrations.

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