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Japan’s METI recommends releasing Fukushima Daiichi radioactive water into sea

That substance is not ‘water’. It is liquid radioactive waste. It is radioactive water with tritium, radioactive Cesium and Strontium, and other nasty toxic stuff. So better call it ‘waste’ not ‘water’…
Some neighboring countries have also voiced their opposition to the idea of discharging the water into the ocean or atmosphere, citing environmental concerns
A subcommittee under the industry ministry holds a meeting Friday in Tokyo. It recommends releasing treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the ocean.
Japan’s METI recommends releasing Fukushima radioactive water into sea
Jan 31, 2020
The industry ministry Friday recommended releasing treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant into the ocean, saying it would be preferable to releasing it into the atmosphere by boiling it.
The government has been exploring ways to dispose of more than 1 million tons of water used to cool the melted-down cores at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, including groundwater near the site, as the complex is running out of storage space.
The water is being treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, before being stored in tanks at the plant. But this does not remove tritium and has been found to leave small amounts of other radioactive materials.
Local fishermen have voiced strong opposition to releasing the water into the ocean, saying consumers will be afraid to buy seafood caught in the area.
Both methods of releasing the water are “realistic options,” the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry told a government subcommittee Friday, but noted that dumping the water into the ocean would make it easier to monitor radiation levels.
This method could be carried out “with more certainty,” it said, because the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., already carried out the process, albeit on a much smaller scale, prior to the powerful earthquake and tsunami that triggered the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant in March 2011.
The ministry has said the health effects of either approach would be minimal, estimating it would result in between 0.052 and 0.62 microsievert annually for a discharge into the ocean, and 1.3 microsieverts if released into the atmosphere. That compares with the 2,100 microsieverts people are exposed to daily in a normal living environment, according to the ministry.
Other methods the subcommittee has considered include injecting the water deep into the ground, solidifying and burying it, and extracting only the hydrogen and releasing it into the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the ministry stressed the importance of gaining the understanding of the local community before making a decision, and of preventing the spread of misinformation that would raise undue fears.
The amount of the water is increasing by about 150 tons per day and Tepco is fast running out of tanks to store it in. The utility is looking to expand capacity to 1.37 million tons by the end of 2020, but has no plans beyond then.
An employee of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) holds a geiger counter to measure radiation on the top floor of the company’s reactor Number 3 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture.
Japan panel finds Fukushima nuclear plant water release to sea is best option
Jan 31, 2020
A Japanese government panel on Friday roughly accepted a draft proposal for releasing into the sea massive amounts of radioactive water now being stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.
The economy and industry ministry’s draft proposal said releasing the water gradually into the sea was the safer, more feasible method, though evaporation was also a proven method. The proposal in coming weeks will be submitted to the government for further discussion to decide when and how the water should be released.
Nearly nine years after the 2011 meltdowns of three reactor cores at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, it was a small step toward deciding what to do with the water and follows expert recommendations.
It is meant to solve a growing problem for the plant’s operator stuck between limited storage space for the water and an imminent backlash from the public and possibly neighbouring countries.
A Japanese government panel on Friday said releasing into the sea massive amounts of radioactive water now being stored at the tsunami-wrecked the nuclear plant was the safer, more feasible method.
Fishermen and residents fear possible health effects from releasing the radioactive water as well as harm to the region’s image and fishing and farm industry.
The water has been treated, and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), says all 62 radioactive elements it contains can be removed to levels not harmful to humans, except for tritium. Experts say there is no established method to fully separate tritium from water, but it is not a problem in small amounts. Government officials also say tritium is routinely released from existing nuclear power plants around the world.
In Friday’s proposal, the ministry said the controlled release to the sea is superior because its travelling route is predictable and easier to sample and monitor. The method, however, could immensely impact Fukushima’s still-struggling fishing industry.
The report acknowledges the water releases would harm industries that still face reluctant consumers despite diligent safety checks. It promised to reinforce monitoring of tritium levels and food safety checks in order to address safety concerns.
In 2011, three of Fukushima Dai-ichi’s reactor cores melted down following a tsunami.
TEPCO currently stores about 1.08 million tonnes of radioactive water and only has space to hold up to 1.24 million tonnes, or until the summer of 2022. The water — leakage of cooling water from damaged reactors mixed with contaminated groundwater — has accumulated since the accident.
The report ruled out long-term storage outside the plant — a method favoured by many Fukushima residents. It cited difficulties obtaining permission from landowners and transportation challenges, as well as the risk of leakage from corrosion, a tsunami or other disasters and accidents.

February 1, 2020 - Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , ,

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