Millennium Post (Kolkata)
Japan to start releasing Fukushima water into sea in 2 yrs
China objects to Japan's move
TOKYO: Japan's government decided Tuesday to start releasing massive amounts of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in two years an option fiercely opposed by local fishermen and residents.
The decision, long speculated but delayed for years due to safety concerns and protests, came at a meeting of Cabinet ministers who endorsed the ocean release as the best option.
The accumulating water has been stored in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi plant since 2011, when a massive earthquake and tsunami damaged its reactors and their cooling water became contaminated and began leaking.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., says its storage capacity will be full late next year.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the ocean release was the "most realistic" option and that disposing the water is "unavoidable" for the decommissioning of the Fukushima plant, which is expected to take decades.
China on Tuesday objected to Japan's move to release treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the sea, warning Tokyo that “it reserves the right to make further reactions”.
While the US-backed Japan's move, it drew sharp reactions from neighbouring China and South Korea.
“As a close neighbour and stakeholder, the Chinese side expresses grave concern over this,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.