Local farmers and fishermen reject the measure for fear of environmental impact and that the image of their products will be further degraded.
The Japanese government will shortly make its decision to expel polluted water into the sea of the crashed Fukushima nuclear power plant, despite strong local opposition, Japanese media reported on Friday.
Currently, there are stored around one million cubic meters of water in about a thousand cisterns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant site. This water comes from the rain, the underground mantle or the injections necessary to cool the cores of the reactors that melted after the terrible tsunami of March 11, 2011.
It was filtered several times to remove most of the radioactive substances it contained, but not the tritium, which cannot be eliminated with current techniques.
Shortly, storage capacity will be saturated, so Japanese authorities have evaluated various solutions in recent years.
In early 2020, experts hired by the government recommended dumping the water into the sea, something that is already done in other nuclear facilities in operation, both in Japan and other parts of the world.
The government should approve this solution this month, but the operation itself should not start before 2022 at the earliest, according to various Japanese media. Much of the stored water still needs to be filtered again to remove other radioactive elements.
But this option, which would have been taken to the detriment of others such as evaporation or long-term storage, fhighly criticized by local fishermen and farmers, who fear that the image of their products will be further degraded.
Neighboring South Korea, which bans the importation of marine products from Fukushima, also expressed concern about the possible environmental consequences who may have the operation.
Tritium is dangerous to human health in high doses, according to experts. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also defended the solution of the water being expelled into the sea.