Japan’s METI Backs Dumping of Fukushima Wastewater

Nov. 19, 2019

Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry (METI) is pushing for the disposal of contaminated waste water trapped inside the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific.

Japanese officials allege it is safe to dispose of contaminated water that has been trapped inside the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, according to the Japan Times.

Space to store the waste water is quickly running out, totaling more than 1 million tons with the volume increasing by more than 100 tons every day.

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The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry (METI) believe the amount of radiation upon the water's release into the ocean would be small compared to what humans are normally exposed to.

The waste water is currently being treated using an advanced liquid processing system (ALPS), but the system does not remove tritium, according to the Japan Times

Annual radiation levels near the release point upon release would be between 0.052 and 0.62 microsievert at sea and 1.3 microsieverts in the atmosphere, according to an estimate performed by the ministry. This is compared to 2,100 microsieverts that humans come into contact with each year in their daily lives.

Tokyo Electric Power estimates the total amount of tritium in the water will be 860 trillion becquerels by January. The starting date of the disposal process have been set for 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2035, according to UPI News. The amount of tritium will decay naturally over time.

The tanks storing the water are expected to become full by the summer of 2022, reported the Japan Times

Nearby countries are expressing concern over the plan to dump in the ocean. South Korea announced it is regularly monitoring dozens of coastal areas and offshore zones near the peninsula to assess radiation levels, according to the Mainichi.

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Cristina Tuser