Tepco says 'decision has already been made' to release radioactive, low-toxic tritium into sea; fishermen irate
Japan Times -- Jul 14
Radioactive tritium, said to pose little risk to human health, will be released from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power complex into the sea, according to a top official of the plant operator.

"The decision has already been made," Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with media outlets, referring to the discharge of tritium, which remains in filtered water even after highly toxic radioactive materials are removed from water used to cool the damaged reactors at the plant.

At other nuclear power plants, tritium-containing water has routinely been released into the sea after it is diluted. But the move by Tepco has prompted worries among local fishermen about the potential ramifications for their livelihood as public perceptions about fish and other marine products caught off Fukushima could worsen.

They are the first public remarks by the utility's management on the matter, as Tepco continues its cleanup of toxic water and tanks containing it continue to fill the premises of the plant, where three reactors suffered meltdowns after tsunami flooded the complex in March 2011 following a massive earthquake.

Kawamura's comments came at a time when a government panel is still debating how to deal with tritium-containing water at the Fukushima plant, including whether to dump it into sea.

Saying its next move is contingent on the panel's decision, Kawamura indicated in the interview that Tepco will wait for a decision by the government before it actually starts releasing the water into sea.

News source: Japan Times
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