Japan wants to discharge radioactive water into the sea at Fukushima nuclear power plant in two years | NOW

Japan plans to discharge the radioactive cooling water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which exploded in 2011, into the sea in two years’ time. It concerns more than 1 million tons of water, the Japanese government announced on Tuesday.

Work to gradually discharge the water into the Pacific is due to begin in two years. The work is expected to take decades.

A solution for the polluted water has been sought for some time. The water was used to cool the reactors of the nuclear power plant. Thousands of liters of water are still added every day.

Energy company Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which is responsible for the storage of the polluted water, left in 2019 already know almost no room for more wastewater. The company expects that there will be no more space by the fall of 2022.

Setback to local fishing

The discharge of the water is a setback for the local fishermen, who have been protesting against the dumping of the waste water for years. Environmental organizations are also concerned. However, the Japanese government says that discharging is the best after weighing up the various options. Japan emphasizes that it follows strict rules for this. For example, the radioactive water must first be filtered and diluted.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a tsunami in 2011 after a major earthquake. The nuclear reactor melted and exploded shortly afterwards. More than 150,000 people fled and almost 19,000 people lost their lives.

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