Fukushima: Japan will have to dump radioactive water into Pacific, minister says

Exposing the Big Game

More than a million tonnes of contaminated water lies in storage but power company says it will run out of space by 2022

Storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
 Storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

The operator of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will have to dump huge quantities of contaminated water from the site directly into the Pacific Ocean, Japan’s environment minister has said – a move that would enrage local fishermen.

More than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water has accumulated at the plant since it was struck by a tsunami in March 2011, triggering a triple meltdown that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has struggled to deal with the buildup of groundwater, which becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to prevent the three damaged reactor cores…

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