Japan to dump contaminated Fukushima water into Pacific Ocean
Prime Minster Yoshihide Suga says Japan is considering dumping more than one million tonnes of radioactive water waste from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.
Suga made the comments during a meeting with Hiroshi Kishi, the president of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, who spoke out against the decision and warned such an action may cause damage to the fishing industry.
The general public is against the scheme, with 51% of respondents opposing it and only 18% supporting it in a recent poll.
However, the Japanese government's proposal has received support from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
While visiting the Fukushima complex in February, Director General Rafael Grossi said the procedure was "in line with international practice in the nuclear industry" and that it was a normal way to release water at nuclear power plants.
The water is currently stored in big tanks at the site. Suga said the plant was almost running out of space to store the contaminated water and releasing it into the ocean was "unavoidable".
“Experts have recommended that the release into the sea is the most realistic method that can be implemented. Based on these inputs, I would like to decide the government’s policy,” he said.
After a massive earthquake in 2011, the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant experienced three core meltdowns caused by a tsunami and since then, it has been generating a massive amount of radiation-tainted water being used to cool melted fuels.
It is estimated that the water will take two years to prepare before being poured into the ocean, and that it will take another 30 years to safely dispose of it all.
The release would leave the Japanese people faced with the prospect of eating food caught in radioactive waters.
With the quandary raising increasing worries in the country, the Japanese prime minister is about to make a formal decision by next Tuesday.