Contaminated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant may have to be released into the ocean.
Japan’s environment minister Minister Yoshiaki Harada supports the plan to dump million tonnes of water that was used to cool melted reactors after the hydrogen explosions. This water is kept in giant tanks and the storage space could run out by 2022.
However, the government was still to take a final decision.
The decision has received several criticism from the fishing community in the region but many scientists suggest that it would pose a low risk.
The reactor buildings of the Fukushima nuclear plant were damaged by hydrogen explosions caused by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Three reactors melted down.
The Japanese government decided that the area would be cleaned in a vast operation but it would take many decades to complete.
For the last eight years around 200 tonnes of radioactive water have been pumped out of the damaged reactor buildings every day.
Most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed using a complex filtration process. But one isotope, tritium, cannot be removed so the water has been stored in a huge tanks which will fill up by 2022.
Many scientists say the water would quickly be diluted in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and that tritium poses a low risk to human and animal health.
Apart from the fishermen community, the South Korea government has made it clear if Japan goes ahead it will further damage an already fraught relationship.
The International Atomic Energy Agency asked Japan has to make a decision about what is going to happen to the contaminated water urgently.
Source : Various