Japan’s government is being urged by experts to slowly release one million tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima power plant had been overwhelmed by a tsunami six years ago.
The levels of contaminated water is growing by day
With the water currently being stored in around 900 large tanks, there is the concern that if the tanks break, it might not be possible to control the contents. That said, most of the radioactive elements of the water were said to have been removed through treatment, with the exception of tritium, which is believed to be safe in small amounts.
According to experts, the release of nuclear tritium water is permitted at other nuclear plants. It is believed that if the current plan to release the water into the ocean goes through, then it could take up to a decade to carry out. According to a version of the plan that came to light last year, the nuclear water would need to be diluted around 50 times a day, with 400 tons being released to the sea each day.
While currently at one million tons, the amount of radioactive water at Fukushima is increasing, however, at around 150 tons a day, due to mixing with nearby groundwater. This especially becomes a growing concern during heavy rains. To combat the water already, dozens of wells and even an “underground ice wall” have been developed to help prevent groundwater before it reaches the nuclear water.
Fishermen have opposed the idea
Local fishermen have reportedly opposed the idea, as it has the potential to harm fish who live in the waters, although tests have claimed the fish exposed to the water would be safe to eat.
That said, some have argued that even if the fish were safe, people would still be reluctant to consume the fish, which in turn could hurt fishermen. One such figure, Fumio Haga, a drag-net fisherman, added, “People would shun Fukushima fish again as soon as the water is released,” according to Daily Mail. Reduced demand for fishermen has also limited around half of the region’s fisherman to working only around twice a week.