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Wednesday
Sep112019

Japan again signals intent to dump radioactive water into the ocean

Japan’s environment minister, Yoshiaki Harada, once again signalled in public remarks that Japan is looking to dump radioactive water currently stored in tanks on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site into the Pacific ocean. At least 1,000 tanks currently sit at Fukushima, site of the triple meltdown nuclear disaster in March 2011 whose repercussions continue today. There is estimated to be more than one million metric tons of water in the tanks. Tepco asserts that it can filter out 62 radioactive isotopes -- all except tritium -- but the system has proven faulty and high amounts of strontium have still been detected in the tank water. The company claims it will run out of space to store more tanks on site, but there is a strong argument to be made that the Abe government simply wants the situation to be "under control" in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo -- a claim he has made publicly. Baseball and softball games will be played there and the Olympic torch relay will begin in Fukushima Prefecture. We were given a brief chance to address the radioactive water issue this week on TRT.