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Current Affairs

Japan plans to release contaminated Fukushima water

Date: 14 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Japanese government has decided to release contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear power plant back to the sea in a controlled manner.

 

Background

The Fukushima plant has been non-operational since the Tsunami that crippled the power plant. The radioactive water has since been trapped without being released.

 

Details

  • The plant will start pumping water after two years after a delicate treatment process that is tiresome and will take decades to complete.

  • The cooling and electricity plant were left destroyed by the Tsunami. The operator was struggling to handles such large amounts of contaminated water.

  • The company is making use of water to cool the heated fuel rods that were melted in the explosion.

 

Water handling

  • The water becomes contaminated as it comes into contact with the nuclear fuel. It later leaks and gets stored in underground tunnels and basements.

  • The groundwater flowing into the plant becomes contaminant after it comes in contact with the radioactive water. This water is pumped out and stored.

 

Filtering process

  • The company will filter water to remove isotopes and only tritium will be left. It will then be diluted to bring it below regulated limit before pumping it into sea.

  • Tritium containing water is released by all nuclear plants around the world. It is considered to be harmless as it does not emit enough energy to harm humans.

 

Public response

  • Environmental groups have urged to build more tanks to store water instead of releasing into the sea. Fishing communities have been against the move.

  • South Korea and China have also expressed concern citing impact on the safety of their people and surrounding environment.