Japan to Dump Radioactive Fukushima Water Into the Pacific

Cleaning up the radioactive mess that is the Fukushima nuclear plant, is expected to take many more decades


NSFW    FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN — Today, almost ten years since a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011, the country is still struggling to decontaminate the radioactive mess that is the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

Three of the plant's nuclear reactors went into meltdown when the tsunami broke through a sea wall and flooded the plant.

As the facility's cooling systems failed in the days that followed, the reactors melted down and tonnes of radioactive material were released. Much of that radiation was trapped in floodwater and water used to cool the runaway nuclear reactions.

Most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed from the water by using a complex filtration process. But one isotope, tritium, cannot be removed so the water has been stored in huge tanks which will fill up by 2022.

Japan's government has now announced that it will have to release the 1.23 million tonnes of radioactive water into the ocean when its current holding tanks start to run over in 2022.

Environmental and fishing groups oppose the idea, as they fear that the radioactivity in the water will harm sea animals and the people who eat these animals. However, many scientists say the risk it would pose, is low.
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