Fishermen approve plan to release groundwater from Fukushima plant

Fishermen working along the coast off Japan's destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant have agreed to allow the release of uncontaminated groundwater around the facility into the ocean, the Jiji news agency reported on Tuesday, in a rare victory for the site's operator.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the operator of the Fukushima station that suffered triple nuclear meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has been lobbying local fishermen to allow a "groundwater bypass" for nearly two years.

A ban on fishing after the nuclear accident pushed most fishermen in Fukushima out of a job, except for occasional work catching certain types of fish that had been deemed safe.

Tepco's bypass will release 100 tonnes of groundwater a day that flows downhill towards the devastated plant. The water will be funnelled to the sea before it becomes contaminated by flowing into the wrecked reactor basements. Around 400 tonnes of groundwater flows into reactor buildings each day.

Local fisheries unions had been bitterly opposed to the utility's bypass after irradiated water leaked from tanks just uphill of the proposed groundwater drains last year. The leaks sparked international alarm and led to a boycott of Fukushima fish by South Korea.

Last month Tepco found another leak of highly contaminated water from one of its hastily built tanks at the plant.

In response to the leaks, Japan pledged $500-million to build a wall of ice encircling the plant and upgrade Tepco's faltering water treatment system. There are roughly a thousand tanks at the Fukushima plant holding more than 431 000 tonnes of radioactive water. – Reuters

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Opposition caucuses on panel for Ramaphosa impeachment probe

The parties want to leave the speaker little discretion in composing the panel that will decide whether there is a case for impeaching the president

Amazon may threaten SA retailers

Amazon plans to move into South Africa in 2023 and the world’s biggest online marketplace might give local companies a run for their money

Gallo celebrates 95 years

The history of Africa’s first record label is studded with successes — and controversies

Creecy shoots down Karpowership appeal but extends a lifeline to...

The Karpowership proposal lacked proper environmental assessments, according to the minister, with noise impacts specifically noted
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×