Fukushima was left with more than a million tons of radioactive water from the reactor that collapsed after the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Over the years, that water has mixed with rainwater and groundwater into an amount that can fill five hundred Olympic swimming pools measuring 50 by 25 metres. The water is stored in a thousand huge tanks, but they will be full by the end of next year.
Tanks also stand in the way of further nuclear power plant dismantling. In April, the Japanese government came up with the “most realistic solution”: the water is pumped, cleaned, diluted with seawater and then slowly and controlled into the sea, a process expected to take 30 years.
According to Tepco and the Japanese government, the water entering the sea is somewhat radioactive, but so diluted that it is “safe” to discharge it into the sea in early 2023. The International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor radiation levels.
The locals are angry
However, this controversial plan was met with objections from local residents. Many Asian consumers fear fish and seafood from Fukushima and local fishermen fear that no one will buy their catch after they are released. Neighboring countries such as Korea and China are also angry about the demobilization plan.
That is why TEPCO is now developing a plan to build a tunnel under the seabed. This would prevent the water from returning to the shore after draining and would prevent fishermen from disturbing the draining process while they were working. TEPCO said the pipeline should be protected by a tunnel to prevent damage to the pipeline during earthquakes and tsunamis.
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