Final approval for the discharge of Fukushima water into the ocean

Japan’s nuclear power authority has approved Tepco’s plan to dump coolant from the molten core of the Dai-Chi plant into the sea. It was the last step, after the green light from the IAEA in April.

In Fukushima, 1.27 million tons of radioactive water are stored.

The project to dump contaminated and treated water from Fukushima into the sea goes even further. The proposal from Tepco, the company that operates the Japanese nuclear power plant devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has received the green light from the national authority that regulates atomic energy.

This is the last substantial step in the process of approving the plan, even if formally the final approval will not arrive until July, after the evaluation of the opinions presented by associations and individuals, affirms the head of authority Toyoshi Fuketa.

With the release of contaminated water from Fukushima, scheduled for spring 2023, a very thorny chapter in the dismantling of the plant will be closed.

Over the past 12 years, the molten cores of destroyed reactors have been constantly cooled with water, which has then been stored in tanks near the plant. Now the capacity is reaching its limit and Tepco’s solution is to dump the 1.27 million tonnes of liquid into the ocean.

Before going to the ocean, the contaminated water will be treated to remove all radioactive elements (except tritium, an isotope of hydrogen too small to be captured) then diluted with seawater to a level of radioactivity 40 times lower than the legal limits in force. Japan. The release will take place through an underwater tunnel, still to be built, approximately one kilometer long.

The green light from the Nuclear Energy Authority comes just weeks after the International Atomic Energy Authority approved the plan.

IAEA Director Rafael Grossi will visit the Dai-chi plant today and try to reassure doubters.

The Agency will supervise the entire release phase and among the measures aimed at reassuring neighboring countries is participation as observers in the process.

South Korea, which along with China is the country most opposed to the Fukushima water spill, recently announced that it would participate in the supervision of the IAEA.

On the other hand, there are still voices of internal dissent, such as that of Yoshihiro Murai, governor of Miyagi prefecture, adjacent to Fukushima, who continues to ask Tepco to explore alternatives to dumping at sea.

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