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[Interview] Japanese anti-nuclear activist says fishers’ consent is crucial for Fukushima water release

Steel-framed tunnels being constructed at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

September 20, 2022

What exactly is going on off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant?

Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center in Japan, says the Fukushima tunnel for offshore dumping of the water is unlikely to be up to scratch

On Aug. 4, the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) began construction on the underwater tunnel that will be used to release treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Their plan is to use the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) to reduce the amount of radioactive material in the contaminated water, after which the treated water would be released into the ocean. Currently, they are at the soil preparation stage. Concerns are being raised not only in neighboring countries but also within Japan itself, pointing out that the ALPS’s ability to remove radioactive material is still unclear, and that the release of the contaminated water is being pushed ahead even though the amount of water to be released has yet to be decided.

On Sept. 6, TEPCO even opened the construction site for the underwater tunnel, 80 meters of which was already complete, to the public, suggesting that it has no intention of backing down from its plan to release the contaminated water during the first half of next year.

During his interview with the Hankyoreh, Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center in Japan, commented that TEPCO and the Japanese government made a written promise not to release the contaminated water without the consent of interested parties, adding that he doubted they would be able to earn the consent of fishers and environmental groups. Even technologically speaking, Ban said it was unlikely that the construction would pass the necessary safety tests upon completion.

An internationally acclaimed anti-nuclear activist, Ban has been serving as the co-director of CNIC, a private Japanese think tank working toward “a society that doesn’t rely on nuclear power” through research and studies into Japan’s nuclear policy, for the past 24 years. The interview took place on Sept. 13 over email.

■ One month into the construction of the tunnel

Hankyoreh (Hani): It’s been a month since construction for the underwater tunnel began. What stage is it currently in?

Hideyuki Ban: Excavation work for the underwater tunnel began on Aug. 4. At the same time, construction related to the stirrer inside the storage tank containing the contaminated water, the transfer pump for the treated water, and the embankment for seawater intake commenced as well. TEPCO has said it would provide “timely updates” regarding the progress of the construction, but its website doesn’t offer much information as to how it’s going. Two local governments that have jurisdiction over the nuclear power plant as well as Fukushima Prefecture consented to the construction ahead of time. The next day, civic groups protested in front of the Fukushima Prefecture office building. Civic groups are still continuing their movement against the release of the contaminated water. Plus, fishers’ groups are also firmly expressing their opposition.

Hani: The plan is to release the contaminated water into the ocean in June next year — do you think that’s likely?

Ban: For the contaminated water to be released into the ocean, consent from fishers’ groups comes above all else. TEPCO and the government promised in writing not to release the contaminated water without the consent of fishers’ groups. However, fishers’ groups are proposing special resolutions opposing the release of the contaminated water into the sea at their general meetings this year. I doubt [TEPCO and the Japanese government] will be able to earn their consent. The same goes from the technological perspective. For the contaminated water to be discharged next June, not only do various constructions currently in progress need to be completed as scheduled, but other hurdles should be jumped over, such as a safety test that would come afterward. I believe the technology is not enough to pass such tests. There are other practical issues. Problems on the site, such as the increasing number of COVID-19 patients among workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, will probably delay the construction as well.

■ Beneath the water’s surface The construction site TEPCO revealed to the Japanese media on Sept. 6 indicated that the construction is progressing quickly. According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK’s footage, the steel-framed concrete tunnel round in shape is big enough for people and equipment to pass through. Inside, a dozen or so green drainpipes stretch to the distance. The tunnel has gotten roughly 80 meters closer to the ocean since construction began. TEPCO is extending the underwater tunnel, which starts from the drainage system for nuclear reactors No. 5 and No. 6 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, by 16 meters each day. The tunnel’s outlet will be created 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) from land. TEPCO previously stated that its goal was to complete construction of the facilities “by spring next year,” but said that completion could take place in summer, depending on weather conditions.

Hani: There were many controversies related to the underwater tunnel even before its construction began, such as when International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi took the side of TEPCO in April, saying he was satisfied with the progress Japan made during its preparation process.

Ban: The IAEA’s report says that “the government or the regulatory body are required to provide information to, and engage in consultation with, parties affected by its decisions and, as appropriate, the public and other interested parties.” The report defines “interested parties” as “individuals or organizations representing members of the public; industry; government agencies or departments whose responsibilities cover public health, nuclear energy and the environment; scientific bodies; the news media; environmental groups; and groups in the population with particular habits that might be affected significantly by the discharges, such as local producers and indigenous peoples living in the vicinity of the facility or activity under consideration.” It’s hard to understand why the IAEA determined progress had been made without properly evaluating the current situation, which hardly indicates “consultations” have been sufficiently carried out.

Hani: But the Japanese government is saying the IAEA task force’s criticism enabled it to reinforce the contents of its implementation plan and radiological impact assessment, which it is citing as the reason the plan to release the contaminated water should be pushed ahead.

Ban: TEPCO’s November 2021 report on the radiation effects of the release of ALPS-treated water into the ocean on humans and the environment indicates that the effects of tritium, which Japanese regulations acknowledge as having negative effects on the human body, were not reflected. It’s hard to say the contents have been dutifully reinforced. The report doesn’t even mention the total amount of radioactive material that would be released, which is a figure civil society has been demanding. It’s a big problem that how much of each nuclide would be released wasn’t revealed, as that information would precede any kind of agreement or discussions that would take place between the government [and interested parties] ahead of the release of the contaminated water. The IAEA should also demand that TEPCO and the Japanese government announce the total amount [of radioactive materials] it expects to release.

■ Action needed now

Hani: How unsafe do you think it is to release the contaminated water into the ocean?

Ban: The contaminated water currently contains 64 different radioactive nuclides, including tritium, which can enter the human body and cause internal exposures. The government and TEPCO plan to use the ALPS over and over until the amount of radioactive material in the contaminated water has been reduced to a level fit for release to the ocean. However, the contaminated water will be released for over 30 years. Additionally, risk assessments presume the contaminated water will evenly spread across the ocean and become diluted, but in reality, it will accumulate in specific regions underwater or in seafood. This will ultimately lead to the radiation of people who eat seafood.

Hani: The release of the contaminated water has moved from the “preparation stage” to the “implementation stage,” in a sense.

Ban: Yes. Concerns about radiation caused by radioactive material and the voices of those worried about negative effects on the tourism industry, as well as the fishing, forestry and agriculture industries, are growing louder and louder.

Hani: What are some things people can do right now?

Ban: People should be vocal so that the plan to release the contaminated water into the ocean can be stopped immediately. The Japanese government and TEPCO say nuclear power plants around the world regularly emit tritium. While such everyday tritium emissions will ultimately lead to radioactive contamination, the bigger problem is that the world has never seen a case in which 64 nuclides including tritium were released into nature simultaneously, as the release of the contaminated water from Fukushima will. The water will keep on being discharged for the next 30 years while the total amount of radioactive material being released remains a mystery. Pollution of the marine environment caused by radioactive material emitted by the water should not be overlooked. By Hong Seock-jae, staff reporter

http://japan.hani.co.kr/arti/politics/44584.html?fbclid=IwAR3Wo6vcpkKJPK4XKZADvDuPmBq1znrFhy5320nNgmH5_yadXeRCHSKMVP8

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September 26, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Construction begins at Fukushima plant for water release

Workers walk around a construction site for a planned shaft at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO), in the town of Futaba, northeastern Japan, on March 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)

August 4, 2022

TOKYO (AP) — The construction of facilities needed for a planned release of treated radioactive wastewater into the sea next year from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant began Thursday despite opposition from the local fishing community.

Plant workers started construction of a pipeline to transport the wastewater from hillside storage tanks to a coastal facility before its planned release next year, according to the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings.

The digging of an undersea tunnel was also to begin later Thursday.

Construction at the Fukushima Daiichi plant follows the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s formal approval last month of a detailed wastewater discharge plan that TEPCO submitted in December.

The government announced last year a decision to release the wastewater as a necessary step for the plant’s ongoing decommissioning.

A massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s cooling systems, causing triple meltdowns and the release of large amounts of radiation. Water that was used to cool the three damaged and highly radioactive reactor cores has since leaked into basements of the reactor buildings but was collected and stored in tanks.

TEPCO and government officials say the water will be further treated to levels far below releasable standards and that the environmental and health impacts will be negligible. Of more than 60 isotopes selected for treatment, all but one — tritium — will be reduced to meet safety standards, they say.

Local fishing communities and neighboring countries have raised concerns about potential health hazards from the radioactive wastewater and the reputation damage to local produce, and oppose the release.

Scientists say the impact of long-term, low-dose exposure to not only tritium but also other isotopes on the environment and humans are still unknown and that a release is premature.

The contaminated water is being stored in about 1,000 tanks that require much space in the plant complex. Officials say they must be removed so that facilities can be built for its decommissioning. The tanks are expected to reach their capacity of 1.37 million tons in autumn of 2023.

TEPCO said it plans to transport treated and releasable water through a pipeline from the tanks to a coastal pool, where it will be diluted with seawater and then sent through an undersea tunnel with an outlet about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away to minimize the impact on local fishing and the environment.

TEPCO and the government have obtained approval from the heads of the plant’s host towns, Futaba and Okuma, for the construction, but local residents and the fishing community remain opposed and could still delay the process. The current plan calls for a gradual release of treated water to begin next spring in a process that will take decades.

TEPCO said Wednesday that weather and sea conditions could delay a completion of the facility until summer 2023.

Japan has sought help from the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure the water release meets international safety standards and reassure local fishing and other communities and neighboring countries, including China and South Korea, that have opposed the plan.

IAEA experts who visited the plant earlier this year said Japan was taking appropriate steps for the planned discharge.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220804/p2g/00m/0na/016000c

August 14, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant “Treated Water” Discharged TEPCO Announces Undersea Tunnel Construction to Begin in 4 Days “Already Started? Citizens were in a state of exasperation

August 3, 2022
TEPCO announced on August 3 that it will begin construction of an undersea tunnel and other facilities on August 4 to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture) after purification and treatment. The company aims to begin discharging the water next spring, but if the offshore construction is delayed by weather conditions or other factors, the completion of the facilities may be delayed until next summer. However, there is strong opposition to the project, especially from those involved in the fishing industry, and it is unclear whether the facilities will actually be able to discharge the radioactive waste. (Nozomi Masui)

On the 2nd, the prefectural government and both towns in the area agreed to the construction work, and on the 4th, they will begin digging undersea tunnels and laying pipes to transfer treated water from the storage tanks. TEPCO is proceeding with some of the work outside the scope of the consent, and has finished digging the hole that will house the water storage tank that will lead to the undersea tunnel.
 At the press conference, Junichi Matsumoto of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning Promotion Company made it clear that “there is no doubt that we will comply with the document with fishermen,” regarding the written promise with the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Federation that no ocean discharge would take place unless understanding is obtained. However, he simply reiterated that he would “do his best to explain” how to gain their understanding.
 When asked if TEPCO executives would brief fishermen before construction began, he replied, “We have no plans to do so. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Masanobu Sakamoto, chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Cooperative Associations, on the same day. Regarding a large fund for the continuation of the fishing industry, he said, “We would like to obtain the fishermen’s understanding on how to use the fund after hearing their opinions.
 According to TEPCO’s plan, the treated water, which is mainly tritium, will be diluted with a large amount of seawater to less than 1/40th of the national discharge standard, and then discharged through an undersea tunnel about 1 km offshore.


◆”Voices not being heard by the government,” citizens’ group protests.
 On March 3, when TEPCO announced the start of construction of facilities to discharge treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean, citizens’ groups in Fukushima Prefecture staged a protest in front of the prefectural government office, and the leaders of local governments where the plant is located asked the government to take thorough measures against harmful rumors.

On the afternoon of the 3rd, the co-chairman of the “Citizens’ Council” Oda, who heard about the plan to start construction on the following day, said, “What, it has already started? Chiyo Oda, 67, co-chairperson of the “Citizens’ Council” in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, was absolutely stunned. Construction began just two days after Fukushima Prefecture and the towns of Okuma and Futaba agreed to the work. She was concerned that the situation would become so dire that there would be no turning back.

Protesters in front of Fukushima Prefectural Office in Fukushima City on March 3.


 In the morning of that day, the association held a banner in front of the prefectural office to protest. At a press conference held afterward, Mr. Oda said, “The plan is proceeding with the release of the waste. There are so many voices of opposition and concern, but the government is not receiving our voices? Kaoru Watanabe, 66, a resident of Date City in Fukushima Prefecture, expressed his concern, “I’m worried that they will push ahead with the construction work, create a fait accompli, and then push through with the discharge into the ocean.


 Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori, Okuma Mayor Jun Yoshida, and Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa visited the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and submitted a written request to METI Minister Koichi Hagiuda. Governor Uchibori told the press, “I hope that the government will work together to take the necessary measures (against harmful rumors, etc.) so that the efforts of the people of Fukushima Prefecture will not be undone by the release of the radioactive materials. (Natsuko Katayama, Nozomi Masui)
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/193622?fbclid=IwAR0TJASuRCsIfHc-zmKUqE7ERgUF3pJNe_vGHn8bYmkFdMTiS5Hn9RYhN5M

August 5, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO Starts Construction of Fukushima Water Release Facilities

Get ready for a new wave… of radioactive wastewater!

ineptco’s tunnel will carry the enriched water a whole kilometer from the coast

August 4, 2022

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on Thursday started the construction of facilities to release treated radioactive water into the ocean from its disaster-crippled nuclear plant in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima.
TEPCO aims to complete the construction work around next spring, although the company said the completion might be pushed back to around summer next year if the work at sea is delayed due to bad weather or other factors.
There are lingering concerns about negative rumors related to the planned release of the water, which contains tritium, a radioactive substance, into the ocean. Understanding from related local people would be essential for TEPCO to start the water release after the completion of the facilities.
TEPCO will construct an undersea tunnel necessary for releasing the treated water at a point 1 kilometer off the coast. Tanks and pipes will also be set up for stirring the treated water and checking whether radioactive substances other than tritium are below safety standards.


Also, the company will build a facility to dilute the treated water, after its levels of radioactive substances are measured, with seawater to lower the tritium concentration to less than one-40th of the level permitted under Japanese safety standards.

https://sp.m.jiji.com/english/show/21240?fbclid=IwAR0n4HbeqiqQ0jJRPF01hZiotsGY7D8GlYmYPeItLYdoAyY4xNyiMgcRDvk

August 5, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima OKs facility construction for treated water release plan

August 2, 2022

Local authorities have approved the construction of an underwater tunnel and other facilities to release treated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Officials from Fukushima Prefecture and the towns of Okuma and Futaba, which host the plant, conveyed their decision to the president of Tokyo Electric Power Company on Tuesday.

TEPCO, the operator of the plant, had sought the approval of those authorities based on a safety agreement.

Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered meltdowns in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Water used to cool molten fuel mixes with rain and groundwater. The accumulated water is treated to remove most of the radioactive materials and stored in tanks on the plant’s premises.

The filtered water still contains tritium. The government plans to dilute the water, so that the percentage of tritium is well below the percentage permitted by national regulations. The amount of tritium in the diluted water is also expected to be below the guidance levels for drinking water quality established by the World Health Organization.

The utility is now set to start full-fledged construction of the underwater tunnel and other facilities. It hopes to complete the work around spring of next year.

In July, the Nuclear Regulation Authority gave its final approval for the plan that TEPCO drew up.

One focal point had been whether the local authorities would approve the plan.

Locals, including fishers, are concerned about potential reputational damage to the region.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220802_38/

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Construction of Fukushima water release facilities to begin Thurs.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori, center left, hands a petition to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Koichi Hagiuda, center right, in Tokyo on Aug. 3, 2022. (Kyodo)

August 3, 2022

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Construction of facilities to discharge treated water from the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture into the sea will commence Thursday, according to the plant operator, even as opposition at home and abroad remains.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said at a press conference Wednesday it still aims to begin releasing the treated water containing tritium about 1 kilometer off the Pacific coast around next spring after diluting it with seawater to one-40th of the maximum concentration permitted under Japanese regulations.

But the plan could be delayed until next summer due to the tight schedule.

Initially, TEPCO had planned to start constructing the facilities in June but it was only approved in July by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The tanks storing treated water on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi plant are expected to reach full capacity around next fall, according to TEPCO’s calculation.

Construction will start after approval was given earlier in the week by the Fukushima prefectural government and two municipalities hosting the seaside power plant, severely damaged after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused core meltdowns at multiple nuclear reactors.

Water that has become contaminated after being pumped in to keep the melted fuel cool has been accumulating at the complex, also mixing with rainwater and groundwater at the site.

TEPCO and the government still face a tall task to persuade fishing communities in Japan and neighboring China, who continue to oppose the release of the treated water on safety grounds.

“It is important for us to make the best effort to clear various concerns and anxiety over the discharge plan,” a TEPCO official said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying reiterated her country’s opposition to Japan’s plan, calling it “irresponsible” and saying it takes no heed of concerned countries.

The South Korean government has also been expressing concern following the approval by the NRA, it said it will seek responsible handling of the situation by Japan under the principle that people’s health and safety are of the highest priority.

Taiwan’s nuclear energy council said it respects Japan’s decision as it believes the nuclear regulator made the decision on a legal basis and using its expertise.

Local government chiefs from the prefecture on Wednesday also called on the central government to take measures to prevent reputational damage to marine products, a key issue that severely impacted local businesses in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The mayors of Okuma and Futaba, the two towns hosting the Fukushima plant, and Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori made the request during a meeting with Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda in Tokyo.

“The plan has not earned enough understanding from Japanese people and residents of the prefecture, as there are still various opinions including concerns over renewed reputational damage,” Uchibori said at the meeting, which was partially open to the media.

Okuma Mayor Jun Yoshida also urged the government to lead from the front, saying, “We hope people in the disaster-stricken area will no longer suffer from reputational damage.”

Hagiuda responded that the plan will be carried out on the premise of ensuring safety and taking thorough measures to prevent reputational damage, adding, “We will deliver information based on scientific evidence throughout the country and abroad.”

For the fisheries industry that faces the risk of damage caused by harmful rumors, it is important to create an environment where their products are traded at fair prices so young people can continue to operate businesses without worries, the local leaders’ request said.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220803/p2g/00m/0na/033000c

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Storage of treated water “postpones the problem” Construction approval, a nail in the coffin of the municipality where the site is located

Tanks storing treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, February 26, 2022 (photo by Nishi Natsuo)

Aug. 2, 2022
The Fukushima prefectural government, the town of Okuma, and the town of Futaba have expressed their consent to the construction of an undersea tunnel and other facilities that will be a prerequisite for the offshore discharge of treated water from the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. On April 2, Governor Masao Uchibori and others gave their approval to the start of the construction work necessary for the discharge and informed TEPCO of their approval. Why did the local government give its consent?


The Promise to the Fishermen: Ongoing Debate

 We take this matter very seriously. Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of TEPCO Holdings, visited the Fukushima prefectural government office at 5:00 p.m. that day and bowed his head with a mysterious expression on his face after receiving prior approval from the prefectural government and the top officials of Futaba and Okuma towns for the discharge of treated water into the ocean.

 According to the prefectural government officials, the three parties agreed that the opinions expressed by the prefecture, Futaba-machi, and Okuma-machi should be implemented at the earliest possible time, without delay. The prefectural government contacted TEPCO after the executive meeting that afternoon. Shiro Izawa, the mayor of Futaba Town, and Atsushi Yoshida, the mayor of Okuma Town, joined the meeting afterwards.

 In July, a report was compiled by the Technical Study Group for Ensuring Nuclear Power Plant Safety, formed by the prefectural government and others, on TEPCO’s implementation plan, which was the basis for the decision to give prior consent, stating that “technical safety was confirmed. Governor Masao Uchibori, based on the report, listed conditions such as ensuring the implementation of eight requirements, including the confirmation of radioactive materials, and reporting on the status of the efforts. At the same time, he did not forget to nudge TEPCO to “take all possible reputational measures.

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220802/k00/00m/040/307000c?fbclid=IwAR3O0sGtlSCKu86KjzA3kSHztCPHqSFrpXPzJeb509yHN8tvkGbC-1uoooM

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi’s radioactive water discharge pipe construction

December 22, 2021

TEPCO’s long-term plan to dump contaminated water into the Pacific has progressed closer to reality. Regulators have given initial approvals and with those, TEPCO has moved quickly to start this project.

Today TEPCO filed for official approval of the water discharge pipe construction.
In mid-December boring tests to examine the geologic status of the sea bed began. These were preceded by magnetic ground surveys. This work is needed to design and construct the discharge pipe TEPCO plans to use to dump contaminated water into the sea. TEPCO plans to have this discharge pipe completed by 2023.


TEPCO has insisted this water is safe and “clean” but admits it still contains some radioactive contamination. The plan has received plenty of criticism including local fishing and environmental groups, international environmental groups, and nearby countries who have all lodged formal complaints with the Japanese government.

Magnetic survey rig near the port of Fukushima Daiichi.
Geologic boring test rig pontoon in use outside the port at Fukushima Daiichi.
Location of discharge pipe at Fukushima Daiichi port
Diagram of the construction plan to dig the pipe route.
Location of the pipe route from land out to sea through the port area.

Some concerns about this siting exist. The port has been concreted over twice and had some other work done to attempt to reduce or isolate radioactive contamination that leaked into the port in the early years of the disaster. Digging through this to install the discharge pipe could resuspend these contaminants and fuel microparticles, releasing new environmental contamination to the sea.
Original TEPCO document in Japanese

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima operators to use tunnels and pumps to release contaminated water into the sea

22 December 2021

The operator of Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), has submitted plans to the country’s nuclear regulators to release contaminated water from the site into the sea.

According to Reuters, Tepco proposes to discharge the water via pumps and and underwater tunnels to a location about 1km offshore.

Tepco will process the water first to remove radioactive contamination, except for tritium, which cannot be removed.

Nearly 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated water have accumulated at the site – enough to fill 500 Olympic swimming pools.

The water has built up over the past ten years, after the site was ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami – causing the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Currently, the water is stored in huge tanks at an annual cost of around $880m, and space is running out.

Although international authorities support the water discharge effort, the plans do have raised concern from neighbours China and South Korea and worried both local farmers and the fishing industry.

The operator will continue to discuss the issue with residents and others before construction, set to start in the middle of next year.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear power plant plans seabed tunnel to discharge treated radioactive water into ocean

22 déc. 2021

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has unveiled plans to build an underwater tunnel to release treated radioactive water into the sea. The Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) submitted detailed plans on December 21, 2021, to the nuclear regulation authority for approval. In 2011, a devastating earthquake and tsunami sparked a nuclear disaster on Japan’s northeastern coast. Nearly 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated water has to be processed to eliminate radioactive contamination, except for tritium, which cannot be removed. Japan’s plans to dump the treated water in the ocean have raised concerns among neighbouring China and South Korea, as well as farmers and fisherfolk.

December 23, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , , | Leave a comment