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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 23 - 29  > Japan starts releasing radiation-tainted Fukushima water into ocean
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2023 August 23 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan starts releasing radiation-tainted Fukushima water into ocean

August 25, 2023

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on August 24 began releasing ALPS-treated radiation-tainted water from its Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean in breach of the previous promise made to local residents.

About 7,800 tons of Fukushima wastewater, after the concentration of tritium in the water is reduced to below Japanese regulatory standards or 1,500 becquerel per liter, will be discharged over 17 days in the first of four batches of release within fiscal 2023.

Currently, about 1,340,000 tons of contaminated water is stored temporarily in more than 1,000 storage tanks. The Japanese government and TEPCO state that the ocean release will go on until the decommissioning of the crippled plant is completed in 2051. However, the outlook for the decommissioning project is still uncertain. The volume of the water release in fiscal 2023 alone will approximately amount to 31,200 tons (30 storage tanks).

It is the business community that has given strong approval to the ocean release plan.

In 2021, when the government decided to release Fukushima wastewater into the ocean, Sakurada Kengo, representative director of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), welcomed the decision and said, "Sufficient consideration has been given to safety concerns."

Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) Chairman Tokura Masakazu in July was elated with the IAEA Comprehensive Report on the Safety Review of the ALPS Treated Water. He said, "The report determined that treated water will fully meet safety standards. This is significant."

Kobayashi Ken, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recently published a statement which gives a boost to the planned ocean release, "The plan needs to be carried out in order to proceed with the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima regional revitalization."

In response to the business sector demand, the Kishida government already decided to promote the construction of additional nuclear power stations and to allow the extension of aged reactors' operations.

Past related article:
> JCP Koike: Ocean release of ALPS-treated water will be breach of promise[August 20 & 22, 2023]
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