Japanese Minister: We May Need to Dump Radioactive Water from Fukushima into the Ocean
Tokyo Electric Power Company will have to dispose of the radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant in the Pacific Ocean as the company's storage capacity is running low, Japanese Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada said.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has collected more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from cooling pipes used to protect the rods from nuclear fuel from melting after the plant was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The plant's operator claims its storage capacity will be exhausted by 2022, BTA informs.
"The only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it," Yoshiaki Harada told a news briefing in Tokyo on Tuesday. "The whole of the government will discuss this, but I would like to offer my simple opinion."
The government is awaiting a report from an expert panel before deciding how to get rid of radioactive water. Tepco is not in a position to decide how to proceed and will follow the government's policy once it has made a decision, a company spokesman said.
Any "green light" given by the government to dispose of radioactive water at sea will anger Japanese neighbours, such as South Korea, who summoned a senior diplomat from the Japanese embassy last month, in order to explain how Tokyo will deal with the radioactive water problem, Reuters recalls.