Everything is there Start disposing of treated radioactive waste water leaked into the sea from Japan’s destroyed Fukushima Daiichi power plant, according to the operator of the power plant. The plan is there in the works for years, as irradiated water accumulated after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent meltdown. But now the release of wastewater seems to be imminent.
On Monday, Tokyo Electric Power Holdings (TEPCO) announced that construction of all necessary infrastructure and equipment for offshore water drainage has been completed. as reported by The Associated Press. Finally, a final piece of underwater tunnel was installed. The only obstacle that remains at this point is bureaucracy. TEPCO is just awaiting the outcome of a final security inspection by national regulators, which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
If all goes according to plan, TEPCO officials tell the AP they could start discharging the treated wastewater a week after the end of the year Inspection – sometime this summer.
The basic idea is that TEPCO will slowly release its stored radioactive effluents over the next thirty years. Plant operators have treated the water to minimize its radioactivity, but not all harmful compounds can be removed. A radioactive isotope called tritium– is considered to be a relatively weak and less harmful source of radiation – carbon-14 and other trace materials remain. By further diluting the wastewater with seawater at a ratio of less than 1:100 and controlling its release, radiation levels in the discharged waste will be close to background levels, comparable to what is at operating nuclear power plants, according to Japanese officials and the plant operator release plants and are below the guideline values for drinking water safety, it is said a report from nature.
However, others are not so sure of this plan and remain skeptical. TEPCO’s news comes despite significant, ongoing international opposition to the discharge of the wastewater – particularly from countries neighboring Japan South Korea, ChinaAnd Pacific Island States. There were also local protest of fishing groups who have already suffered Losses due to bans on seafood caught in the region. Add to The bunch of reviews and concernsSome scientists have expressed fears and uncertainty about the long-term potential Effects on marine health. The US National Association of Marine Laboratories, for example, officially announced his opposition included in the marine dump program in December 2022.
Still, TEPCO insists that sanitation is a necessity. The company said it would run out of storage space for the radioactive water early next year. Critics believe that the plant operator can simply acquire more space and build more storage capacity. But TEPCO and the Japanese government claim so The more water is stored and the longer it is held, the greater the risk of large-scale leaks or spills – another earthquake or tsunami is a constant concern. The International Atomic Energy Agency has also supported the country’s proposal for sanitation.
In March 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake – the strongest in Japan’s history – triggered a massive tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and decimated the cooling system at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the country’s east coast. The earthquake, tsunami and resulting damage eventually led to the meltdown of three reactors in Fukushima.
To cool the wrecked reactors and prevent an even more catastrophic outcome, plant operators immediately began pumping seawater over the overheated fuel cores. This process continues to this day. Ongoing cooling efforts create an additional ~170 tons contaminated wastewater every 24 hours. More than 1.25 million tons of radioactive water have already accumulated. Regardless of the international consensus, all the water has to go somewhere.