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Radioactive water from Fukushima will be dumped in the ocean.
Fishermen have expressed their outrage following an announcement from the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) stating that the company plans to release radioactive material from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
The new chairman of TEPCO, Takashi Kawamura, announced that the company regretted that they had been delaying the decision to release the radioactive material tritium into the Pacific Ocean, claiming that it would have been much more prudent to have begun the process much earlier. The tritium has been used over the past six years to cool the reactors which were rendered unstable by the damage caused by the 2011 tsunami which brought the plant to the brink of a complete nuclear meltdown.
At this current time, 770,000 metric tons of tritium laced water is being stored in the 580 storage tanks at the power station. The toxic water has been filtered before being released using a processing system which can remove sixty-two different varieties of radioactive material. However, it is not capable of processing tritium which means that it will have to be released in an unfiltered state directly into the ocean.
Naturally, local fishermen in the area have expressed their deep reservations at the proposed operation which they claim was not discussed at all with local people. The head of the local fishermen’s cooperative speaking to reporters from the Japanese Times said that this could have a devastating effect on their business. While he conceded that the tritium would not have an adverse effect on the fish in the area, he said that it was certain to generate concerns about their products meaning that they would struggle to sell any of the fish caught in the area. Naturally, the fishermen in the region have ample experience with their goods being rejected after concerns about radioactive contamination following the catastrophic events of 2011.
At this current time, the fishermen’s only hope to halt the plan is the Japanese government who must give their approval before TEPCO can go ahead.