Japan suspends plan to pipe Fukushima’s radioactive water into the sea

TOKYO, Jan 13 (The Daily News) - Japan has put on hold the release to the sea of treated but still radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant after factoring in the progress of a single-purpose tunnel and the need to gain public support.

The government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, announced in April 2021 a plan to begin releasing the treated wastewater into the sea starting in spring 2023.

They say more than one million tons of water stored in about 1000 tanks at the plant is hampering its decommissioning and risks leaking in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami.

Under the current plan, TEPCO will transport the treated water through a pipeline from the tanks to a coastal facility, where it will be diluted with seawater and sent through an undersea tunnel, currently under construction, to an offshore outlet.

The company has acknowledged the possibility of rough winter weather and sea conditions delaying the tunnel progress.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters on Friday the government has adopted a revised action plan, which includes enhanced efforts to ensure safety and measures to financially support the local fishing industry, with a new release target of “around spring or summer this year”. ...continue reading