Tepco to pursue its radioactive water sea release plan and “Tepco also plans to use social media to counter rumors that exposure to radiation from the released water is harmful.”
Plan to dispose of Fukushima wastewater drafted
March 24, 2020
NHK has learned that Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has drafted a plan for disposing of radioactive wastewater stored at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Water used to cool molten nuclear fuel from the 2011 accident is treated to remove most radioactive material. But tritium and other substances remain in the water, a huge amount of which is stored in about 1,000 large tanks.
A government panel last month compiled a report that says releasing diluted radioactive wastewater into the sea or air are realistic options.
TEPCO’s plan for doing so would involve diluting the wastewater with seawater, aiming for a tritium level of one-fortieth that allowed by national regulation.
The firm would gradually release the diluted water over about 30 years, taking into consideration the amount of similar water released at other nuclear plants.
TEPCO would also test treating the wastewater again to further remove other radioactive materials.
The utility is to explain the plan to local officials and residents in Fukushima Prefecture. People in the local fishery and tourism industries oppose releasing the water into the ocean.
Tanks storing contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in February
Tepco may take 30 years to release Fukushima No. 1 radioactive water
March 25, 2020
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said Tuesday it may spend up to 20 to 30 years releasing contaminated water into the surrounding environment from its disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The possible time span was mentioned in draft plans Tepco drew up in line with a government panel’s report in February, calling the release of the water into the ocean or the air in the form of vapor a “realistic option.”
The company currently stores roughly 119 tons of water that still contains tritium and other radioactive substances after passing through a treatment process at the nuclear plant, which suffered a triple meltdown in March 2011 caused by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. The amount of contaminated water stored at the facility is still increasing.
According to the draft plans, Tepco will first conduct secondary treatment work to reduce the amount of radioactive substances in the water other than tritium — which cannot be removed by existing systems — to levels below national standards.
Following the treatment, the water will be released into the ocean, after being diluted with seawater to lower the radiation level to 1,500 becquerels per liter, or emitted into the air from a tall exhaust stack after being vaporized.
Tepco also plans to use social media to counter rumors that exposure to radiation from the released water is harmful.