Tokyo (AP) — Japan’s new prime minister said on Sunday that the planned mass disposal of wastewater stored at the tsunami-destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant cannot be delayed despite concerns from locals. ..
Fumio Kishida said that when he visited the facility for the first time since taking office, the government will work to reassure the residents around the factory about the technical safety of the wastewater treatment project.
The Fukushima Daiichi Plant suffered three meltdowns in 2011 due to a major earthquake and tsunami.
A brief tour of the facility by Kishida operator TEPCO Holdings focused on the ongoing decommissioning of the plant and the large amount of treated but still radioactive water stored there.
After the tour, Fumio Kishida told reporters, “I strongly felt that the water problem was an important issue that should not be pushed back.”
In April, the government and TEPCO announced plans to begin releasing water into the Pacific Ocean for decades in the spring of 2023.
The plan has been strongly opposed by fishermen, residents and Japan’s neighbors, including China and South Korea.
Contaminated cooling water has been leaking from the damaged reactor since the earthquake. The water is pumped from the basement and stored in about 1,000 tanks, which operators say will reach capacity later next year.
Japanese officials say that water disposal is essential for plant purification and its release into the sea is the most viable option.
Fumio Kishida said the government will do everything in its power to address concerns that water treatment will hurt local fisheries and other industries.
“I’ll talk about (disposal) safety from a scientific and transparent perspective to dispel various concerns,” Kishida said.
Japan has called for assistance from the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that emissions meet global safety standards, including treating wastewater so that radioactivity levels fall below legal limits.
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Japanese Prime Minister says Fukushima’s wastewater discharge cannot be delayed | WGN Radio 720
Source link Japanese Prime Minister says Fukushima’s wastewater discharge cannot be delayed | WGN Radio 720