Japan still weighing dump of Fukushima radioactive water into ocean

Nuclear Waste

Tepco now has more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting after a tsunami struck the nuclear plant in March 2011.

A mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency had earlier recommended that Japan release the treated water into the ocean.

There has always been a plan to dump the water in to the Pacific ocean and the Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada has now said that he supports the plan.

The officials say the firm asked for up to 700,000 kilowatts of electricity from other utilities between 4 and 5 p.m.to meet peak-time demand. But Yoshiaki Harada's opinion, albeit a likely influential one, isn't shared by everybody involved.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga referred to the minister's comments as "his personal opinion".

The contaminated water is subjected to treatment to get rid of radioactive isotopes with the exception of tritium and subsequently stored in tanks.

However, Tepco is expected to run out of space to store the contaminated water by 2022.

The damaged No. 3 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan, on February 25, 2016, five years after the plant was damaged by a magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami.

"There is no fact that the method of disposal of contaminated water has been decided".

The BBC noted that over the past eight years, some 200 tons of radioactive water was pumped out of the damaged reactor buildings. Tepco is not in a position to decide how to proceed and will follow the government's policy once it has made a decision, a company spokesman said.

This aerial photo shows Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, following a strong natural disaster hit off the coast of Fukushima, northern Japan, on November 22, 2016.

"The Japanese govt has been offered with technical alternatives, alongside side from U.S. nuclear corporations, for eliminating radioactive tritium from the nefarious water - to date it has chosen for monetary and political causes to brush aside these".

The Japanese government only a year ago acknowledged that a worker at Fukushima, who died of lung cancer in 2016, contracted the illness from his exposure to high levels of radiation at the plant, making him the first and only official radiation-related fatality there.

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