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Japan’s government planning to dump into the sea, the radioactive water from Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactor

Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant wastewater looks headed for ocean, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, October 16, 2020   The government is moving toward the controversial disposal method for contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of dumping it into the ocean.

Fishermen have fiercely opposed this disposal method at the plant, which experienced a triple meltdown in March 2011 following a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami, over fears of resulting negative publicity hurting their industry.

The central government is likely to hold a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers before the end of October to make a formal decision on the dumping, sources said.

Before being dumped into the ocean, the stored water would be processed a second time and diluted with seawater to lower levels of radioactive materials below legally established standards.

It is expected to take about two years to prepare for the dumping process.

Water contaminated with radioactive materials continues to be produced at the Fukushima No. 1 plant at a daily rate of about 140 tons. Water used to cool melted spent nuclear fuel mixes in with groundwater that leaks into the reactor building.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, treats the contaminated water using equipment called advanced liquid processing systems, or ALPS, before storing the water in tanks on the plant grounds.

But about 1.2 million tons of processed water is being stored in tanks and TEPCO has estimated that tank capacity will be reached by the summer of 2022 even under the current plan to build more tanks.

Because about two years is needed to construct the necessary equipment to dispose of the contaminated water and to pass screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, a decision on disposal of the water was expected by this summer.

A subcommittee of experts set up by the economy ministry compiled a proposal in February that said the two realistic alternatives were to dump the water into the ocean or release it into the atmosphere. The panel added that dumping the water into the ocean was the method that could be implemented with certainty.

Since April, the government has conducted seven hearings involving local government officials, farming and fisheries organizations and business groups on the issue………   http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13831640

October 17, 2020 - Posted by | Fukushima continuing

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