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WorldJapan will have to dump radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific, minister says

08:10  10 september  2019
08:10  10 september  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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The operator of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will have to dump huge quantities of contaminated water from the site directly into the Pacific Ocean, Japan ’s environment minister has said – a move that would enrage local fishermen.

Japan 's Tokyo Electric Power <9501.T> will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific “The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it,” the minister , Yoshiaki Harada, told a news briefing in Tokyo. “The whole of the government

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant directly into the Pacific Ocean, Japan's environment minister said on Tuesday.

Japan will have to dump radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific, minister says© Reuters/ISSEI KATO FILE PHOTO: Storage tanks for radioactive water are seen at tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma

After the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, has collected in tanks at the wrecked sites more than 1 million tons of contaminated water from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting.

The utility says it will run out of space by 2022.

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Japan 's environment minister says contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant may have to be released into the ocean because storage space will run out in 2022. More than a million tonnes of water that has been used to cool melted reactors is kept in giant tanks. Fisherman's groups are

Tokyo Electric Power may have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant directly into the Pacific Ocean, Japan 's environment minister said on Tuesday. After the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Tokyo Electric (Tepco) has collected in

"The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it," Yoshiaki Harada told a news briefing in the capital. "The whole of the government will discuss this, but I would like to offer my simple opinion."

A final government decision on disposing of the tainted water awaits a report from an expert panel.

Harada did not say how much water would need to be put into the ocean.

Tepco officials were not immediately available for comment.

Any green light to dump the waste into the sea, however, could anger neighbors such as South Korea, which summoned a senior Japanese embassy official last month to explain how the country would deal with the Fukushima water.

Ties between the East Asian nations are already at a low ebb following a compensation dispute over Koreans forced to work in Japanese factories in World War Two.

Coastal nuclear plants commonly dump into the ocean water that contains tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that is hard to separate and is considered to be relatively harmless.

Tepco, which also faces opposition from local fishermen, admitted last year that the water in its tanks still contained contaminants beside tritium.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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