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Fukushima’s fishing industry threatened by plans to dump radioactive water

Radioactive water threatens Fukushima fishery’s fragile gains, Plant operator plans to dump contaminated water into the ocean, Nikkei Asian Review, TAKUMI SASAKI, Nikkei staff writer  November 04, 2018, TOKYO — Since a catastrophic nuclear accident seven years ago, Fukushima fishermen have made painstaking efforts to rebuild their livelihood, assiduously testing the radioactivity levels of their catches to ensure safety. Now, rapidly accumulating wastewater from the crippled power plant is again threatening this hard-won business recovery.

Faced with the prospect that there will be no more space to store tanks containing radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings and the Japanese government are considering diluting the water and dumping it into the ocean.

Even though Fukushima’s fishery has been recovering, the haul throughout the entire prefecture amounted to about 3,300 tons last year, just 10% of the average prior to the 2011 disaster. And even reaching there has not been easy.

Fish markets in the prefecture now house testing rooms filled with equipment. Staff members mince seafood caught every morning to screen for radioactivity. Such painstaking efforts gradually enabled fishermen to return to the sea, with all fishing and farming operations resuming in February this year.

But the trend could reverse if the government goes through with plans to release nuclear wastewater into the sea.

Tepco has been cooling down the molten fuel cores by pumping water into the ruined reactors. The tainted water is later taken out and treated, but the system in place does not filter out tritium, a radioactive hydrogen isotope.

The tritium-laced water is currently stored in tanks within the premises of Fukushima Daiichi, but space is due to run out within five years……..https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Radioactive-water-threatens-Fukushima-fishery-s-fragile-gains

 

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November 5, 2018 - Posted by | Japan

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