The release of the second batch of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean will commence on Oct. 5, the facility’s operator said Thursday, in a move likely to draw further ire from China.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. plans to release approximately 7,800 tons of treated radioactive water, the same amount as the first discharge, into the sea over a period of around 17 days.
Preparations will begin next Tuesday to check tritium levels when the treated water is diluted with sea water before release.
Release of the first batch of treated water began on Aug. 24 amid concerns among local fishermen and strong opposition from China, but was completed on Sept. 11.
Despite the water having a tritium concentration level below that of global safety standards, China has imposed a blanket ban on Japanese seafood imports.
The government has been urging Beijing to lift the ban and engage in scientific evidence-based discussions with experts from both countries while seeking to assist the domestic fishery industry in broadening its export destinations beyond China.
No abnormal tritium levels have been detected in seawater or fish samples collected from around the nuclear power plant so far.
TEPCO and the government maintain that disposing of the treated water is a crucial step toward decommissioning the nuclear plant, which was severely damaged in the wake of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
As the volume of processed water, which had been used to cool melted nuclear fuel and has mixed with rain and groundwater, approached the plant’s storage capacity limit, TEPCO decided to release approximately 31,200 tons in four rounds during the current fiscal year through March.
Tritium contained in the discharged water is expected to total approximately 5 trillion becquerels, less than a quarter of the annual upper limit of 22 trillion becquerels, according to TEPCO.
Source : Kyodo News