On Thursday, the world’s nuclear watchdog granted permission to Japanese plans to release contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant is a disabled nuclear power plant sprawled over 860 acres of area in the towns of Okuma and Futaba in Japan.
The plant got severely damaged by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. The chain of events caused radiation leaks and permanently damaged several reactors, making them disable.
Since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has collected around a million tonnes of contaminated water stored in tanks. The reactors of the plant also went into meltdown. More than 18,000 people died on Japan’s northeast coast.
Last month a government panel recommended that the water will be released into the ocean or vaporized, but no final decision was taken. Both the recommendations of the committee were considered suitable by Rafael Grossi, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“Of course the decision on what to do and when is a matter for the Japanese government,” he said.
“Our final analysis is not completed but I can tell you already that we find the (panel) report based on a sound methodology and a systematic approach.”
“Releasing into the ocean is done elsewhere, it’s not something new, there is no scandal here,” Grossi added.
“But what is important is to do it in a way that is not harmful and you need somebody to monitor before, during and after release, to check that everything is okay.”
Fisherman’s group has strongly opposed the decision. Near about 200 tonnes of radioactive water have been pumped out of the damaged reactor buildings every day. The water comes from several different sources for cooling at the plant and groundwater and rain that seeps into the plant daily.