The Japanese government is going to present its plan on diluting radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and releasing it to the Pacific Ocean next Tuesday, the NHK broadcaster reported on Friday, citing its sources.
On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the cabinet would make a decision on the issue within a few days.
Last year, a government panel considered two options of dealing with the contaminated water — to dump it into the ocean or evaporate it into the atmosphere. The panel eventually recommended the ocean release, arguing that it would pose little risk to human health. The decision, however, triggered a backlash among the fisheries industry and some local governments in the region.
The water in the Fukushima nuclear power plant became radioactive following the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Under the government’s plan, the contaminated water, which is currently stored in special tanks with limited volume, will be filtrated by the ALPS filtering system before being released into the sea. The system reduces the concentration of radioactive material, except for tritium, to a normal level.
In addition to opposition among the local fishery companies, Japan’s neighbors — China and South Korea — have also voiced their concerns over the release of the contaminated water into the environment.