IAEA: Science key to Fukushima plant water release

wsoctv.com -- Sep 10
Objective, science-based monitoring is the key to safely carrying out the planned release of treated but still radioactive water at Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, an International Atomic Energy Agency official said Thursday.
A three-member IAEA team led by Lydie Evrard, head of the agency's Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, is in Japan for preliminary talks and a visit to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which suffered reactor meltdowns after a massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The team is preparing for years of monitoring by the IAEA before, during and after the planned discharge of water into the sea, which is expected to take decades. The water was used to cool the plant's reactors but started to leak after the disaster. The water is treated, and some is reused as cooling water and the rest is stored in tanks. The government and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, announced plans in April to start releasing the water in the spring of 2023 so hundreds of storage tanks at the plant can be gradually removed to make room for other facilities needed for its decommissioning. The idea has been fiercely opposed by fishermen, local residents and Japan’s neighbors, including China and South Korea. Japan has requested IAEA’s assistance to ensure the discharge meets safety standards, to gain the understanding of the international community, and to prevent rumors that may hurt the reputation of food products from the Fukushima area. More than a decade after the disaster, Fukushima fisheries and agricultural products are still shunned by many consumers.