3rd release of treated water from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant ends safely, operator says

TOKYO — The discharge of a 3rd batch of handled radioactive wastewater from Japan’s broken Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean ended safely as deliberate, its operator mentioned Monday, because the nation’s seafood producers proceed to undergo from a Chinese language import ban imposed after the discharges started.

Giant quantities of radioactive wastewater have accrued on the nuclear plant because it was broken by an enormous earthquake and tsunami in 2011. It started discharging handled and diluted wastewater into the ocean on Aug. 24 and completed releasing the third 7,800-ton batch on Monday. The method is anticipated to take a long time.

The discharges have been strongly opposed by fishing teams and neighboring nations together with China, which banned all imports of Japanese seafood, badly hurting Japanese producers and exporters of scallops and different seafood.

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electrical Energy Firm Holdings, mentioned the third launch, like the 2 earlier ones, went easily and marine samples examined by it and the federal government confirmed that ranges of all chosen radionuclides had been far decrease than worldwide security requirements.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in a gathering final Friday with Chinese language President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Financial Cooperation summit in San Francisco, requested China to instantly carry the seafood ban however achieved solely a imprecise settlement to “discover methods to resolve the dispute by way of conferences and dialogue in a constructive method.”

The 2 sides will convene a gathering of scientific consultants to debate the discharge however there was no timetable for a attainable lifting of the ban, Kishida mentioned.

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Japan’s authorities has arrange a aid fund to assist discover new markets for Japanese seafood, and the central and native governments have led campaigns to encourage Japanese customers to eat extra fish and assist Fukushima seafood producers.

TEPCO can be offering compensation to the fisheries trade for “reputational harm” to its merchandise brought on by the wastewater launch, and mentioned it has mailed software varieties to 580 attainable compensation seekers.

The wastewater is handled to take away as a lot radioactivity as attainable to satisfy legally releasable requirements after which vastly diluted with seawater earlier than it’s discharged. TEPCO and the federal government say the method is protected, however some scientists say the persevering with launch of water containing radionuclides from broken reactors is unprecedented and must be monitored intently.

Monday’s completion of the discharge of the third batch of wastewater brings the entire to 23,400 tons. TEPCO plans a fourth launch by the top of March 2024. That will solely empty about 10 of the roughly 1,000 storage tanks on the Fukushima plant due to its continued manufacturing of wastewater, although officers say the tempo of the discharges will choose up later. The tanks at present maintain greater than 1.3 million tons of wastewater, most of which must be retreated to satisfy security requirements earlier than launch.

TEPCO and the federal government say discharging the water into the ocean is unavoidable as a result of the tanks have to be faraway from the grounds of the plant in order that it may be decommissioned.

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