Japan’s environmental minister recommended yesterday the country should release more than one million tons of radioactive wastewater from Fukushima’s nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. This plan comes after nearly a decade since the coastal facility had a meltdown caused by a tsunami.
“The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it. The whole of the government will discuss this, but I would like to offer my simple opinion,” says the minister, Yoshiaki Harada.
According to Reuters, the government is awaiting a report from an expert panel before making a final decision on how to dispose of the radioactive water.
The wastewater is currently being stored in tanks at Fukushima but the plant believes after 2022 there will be no more room. It has not been said how much water will need to be dumped to leave enough room in the tanks.
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) “has attempted to remove most radionuclides from the excess water, but the technology does not exist to rid the water of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Coastal nuclear plants commonly dump water that contains tritium into the ocean. It occurs in minute amounts in nature,” says The Guardian.
While there are other plans in talk to get rid of this wastewater, like vaporizing the water or storing it on land, this still leaves critics, environmentalists, and activists concerned about nuclear power plants as a whole.