Over a million tons
Japan has announced that it will release to sea this year more than a million tons of water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant. After treatment, the levels of most radioactive particles at present should meet the national standard. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the decision is safe, but neighboring countries have expressed concern.
The 2011 Fukushima disaster was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The decommissioning of the plant has already begun but it could take four decades. “We expect the timing of the water release occurs during this spring or summerChief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, adding that the government would wait for a “full report” from the IAEA before starting to do so.
Every day the plant produces 100 cubic meters of contaminated water, which is a mixture of ground water, sea water and water used to cool the reactors. The liquid is then filtered and stored in tanks. With over 1.3 million cubic feet on site, storage space is running out. The water is filtered for most radioactive isotopes, but the tritium level is higher than the national standard, operator Tepco said. Experts say tritium is very difficult to remove from water and is only harmful to humans in high doses.