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Japan’s Tepco to build underwater tunnel for Fukushima water release

December 21, 2021

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant intends to build an underwater tunnel to release water from the plant into the sea, it said on Tuesday (Dec 21), as part of a project to treat and dispose of contaminated water.

A decade after a massive earthquake and tsunami ravaged the north-eastern coast, disabling the plant and causing the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, nearly 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated water have accumulated at the site.

The water, enough to fill about 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools, is stored in huge tanks at an annual cost of about 100 billion yen (S$1.2 billion), and space is running out.

This year, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) outlined plans to discharge more than one million tonnes of the water, after treatment and dilution, from a point about 1km offshore from the power station.

Tepco submitted detailed plans on Tuesday to the nuclear regulation authority for approval, company official Junichi Matsumoto told reporters.

Pumps would move the treated water from the tanks to the seashore and through a seabed tunnel to release it at a depth of 12m, and about 1km out at sea, the firm said.

Although the international authorities support the water discharge effort, it has provoked concern from neighbours China and South Korea and worried local farmers and fisherfolk.

December 23, 2021 - Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , ,

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