Despite strong local opposition, Japan has decided to discharge polluted water used to cool the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea. Local media reported this on Friday.
This decision would mark the end of a seven-year debate over how Japan should discharge its water, which is still stored in tanks on site. Water has been filtered several times to get rid of most radioactive material, but not tritium, which cannot be removed with current techniques. According to the NHK, the discharge will meet international standards.
Suka met with Hiroshi Kishi, director of the Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Japan, on Wednesday. Suka told reporters at the time that “concern for polluted water is an unavoidable issue for us” in the context of the Fukushima Reconstruction.
Discharge of 1.25 million tons of polluted water is preferred over other scenarios such as evaporation or constant storage in air. Experts say that tridium is not dangerous to human health except in very high doses. Still, fishermen and farmers fear that the image of their produce will be further damaged.