Japan set to release controversial nuclear waste

Japan set to release controversial nuclear waste

Government to decide water release date upon Prime Minister Fumiko Kishida's return

By Necva Tastan

ISTANBUL (AA) - Japan said Monday the country is set to release treated radioactive water from Fukushima's nuclear plant into the sea in late August or early September, despite opposition from local fishermen and some countries.

The government is considering finalizing the start date for releasing the water after Japanese Prime Minister Fumiko Kishida's return on Aug. 20 from a trilateral summit with the US and South Korea at Camp David, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

Japan’s water discharge plan, announced in April 2021, has faced significant criticism from China, South Korea, North Korea and Taiwan, along with international organizations, including the UN.

Tokyo will release about 1.25 million tons of treated water into the sea as part of a bid to decommission the power station devastated by the deadly 2011 tsunami.

Currently, 1.32 million tons of contaminated water is in storage at the site of the crippled power station in northeastern Japan.

This wastewater, enough to fill more than 500 Olympic-size pools, is stored in over 1,000 huge tanks built by The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month released a report on Japan's plan to release the nuclear waste, claiming it will have a “negligible” impact on people and the environment.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi also visited Japan’s neighboring countries to defend the nuclear watchdog’s report on Tokyo’s plans.

Grossi, however, said the nuclear watchdog neither recommends nor endorses the move.

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