Green, Energy - Fukushima Runs Out Of Storage
The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactor says it may have to dump contaminated, radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean because there isn't much storage space left at the scene of the disaster.
Since the triple meltdown that followed the 11 March 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has pumped thousands of thousands of tons of water into the reactor buildings. Once used, that contaminated water is pumped into storage containers. Over the past eight years, TEPCO has filled the Fukushima Daiichi site with these containers, but there's no more room to build more.
"There are no other options," claims Japan's environment minister Yoshiaki Harada, who says the only option left is to "release it into the ocean and dilute it". He added, "The whole of the government will discuss this, but I would like to offer my simple opinion."
At a separate news conference in Toyko, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denied that the government had settled on a course of action. "There is no fact that the method of disposal of contaminated water has been decided," Suga said, "The government would like to make a decision after making thorough discussion."
Although TEPCO has attempted to treat the waste water to remove radioactive isotopes. But there is no technology that can remove Tritium, which can be a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin. This has the seafood industry concerned over possibly poisoning the sea life in the area even further, and not just in Japan. South Korean officials are also urging Tokyo to be open about what it is planning and "to make a wise and prudent decision on the issue".