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Pipe radioactive water into the ocean – Japan’s plan to manage Fukushima contaminants

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is likely to approve the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) plan to pipe contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean on Friday, according to Japanese media reports.

Several Japanese media outlets said on Wednesday that the NRA will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the discharge plan, and is likely to officially greenlight it.

TEPCO will start the construction of the undersea tunnel outlet to dump the nuclear-contaminated water properly once it gains approval from the NRA and local government. The discharge is scheduled to begin in Spring 2023.

Some Japanese citizens strongly oppose this plan as it could have bad repercussions on their business and the environment.

The Fukushima disaster

In 2011 the island nation suffered from a nuclear crisis unseen since the Chernobyl disaster in 1988. The catastrophe in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant was triggered by a massive earthquake and a subsequent tsunami that knocked out the plant’s key cooling functions.

Radioactive cars from the Fukushima disaster slowly being eaten by nature.

— Urban Explorer (@Urbanexplorerrs) July 13, 2022

Since then, water, pumped in to cool melted reactor fuel has been accumulating at the complex and mixing with rainwater and groundwater on-site.

The tainted water contains radioactive tritium, moreover, the site will soon reach its capacity of storing the water.

The plan is to release the radioactive water through a tunnel under the seabed into the Pacific Ocean roughly 1 km away from the plant.

Who’s to blame for Fukushima?

In 2012 a civil lawsuit, brought by the shareholders of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), was brought before a Japanese court, demanding that five former Tepco executives pay the beleaguered company 22 trillion yen (EUR 155 bn) in compensation for ignoring warnings of a possible tsunami.

The Tokyo district court on July 13 ordered four former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay 13 trillion yen (EUR 91.9 billion) in damages.

Court orders former Tepco execs to pay around 13 *TRILLION* yen in damages over Fukushima nuclear disaster. Lawyers say this is an "unprecedented" figure & it's well beyond the men's capacity to pay, but still expect them to pay as much as their assets allow

— Tomohiro Osaki (@TomohiroOsaki) July 13, 2022

The amount of money to pay, set in this case, was to set an example for other executives in the business.

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