TOKYO (REUTERS) – The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear energy plant intends to construct an underwater tunnel to launch water from the plant into the ocean, it stated on Tuesday (Dec 21), as a part of a challenge to deal with and eliminate contaminated water.
A decade after a large earthquake and tsunami ravaged the northeastern coast, disabling the plant and inflicting the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl, almost 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated water has accrued on the web site.
The water, sufficient to fill about 500 Olympic-sized swimming swimming pools, is saved in large tanks at an annual price of about 100 billion yen (S$1 billion), and area is operating out.
This 12 months, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) outlined plans to discharge greater than 1 million tonnes of the water, after remedy and dilution, from a degree about 1km offshore from the facility station.
Tepco submitted detailed plans on Tuesday to the nuclear regulation authority for approval, firm official Junichi Matsumoto instructed reporters.
Pumps would transfer the handled water from the tanks to the seashore and thru a seabed tunnel to launch it at a depth of 12m, and about 1km out at sea, the agency stated.
Although worldwide authorities help the water discharge effort, it has provoked concern from neighbours China and South Korea and anxious native farmers and fisherfolk.
Mr Matsumoto stated the corporate would proceed to debate the problem with residents and others earlier than development, set to start out in the course of subsequent 12 months.
The water is to be processed to take away radioactive contamination, aside from tritium, which can’t be eliminated.
Water with the radioactive isotope diluted to one-seventh of the determine set by the World Health Organisation’s tips for ingesting water is to be launched into the Pacific from the plant round spring 2023, underneath a authorities plan.
Nuclear vegetation worldwide routinely launch water containing tritium, thought-about the least-toxic byproduct of atomic energy.