Toxic waste produced by one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters will be dumped into the sea, according to the head of the Japanese company tasked with cleaning up the radioactive mess, despite protests from local fishermen.
Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), told foreign media that nearly 777,000 tons of water tainted with tritium, a byproduct of the nuclear process that is notoriously difficult to filter out of water, will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean as part of a multibillion-dollar recovery effort following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
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Technology has so far been unable to remove tritium from the water, and TEPCO’s solution is to pour the radioactive liquid into the ocean, where, according to the utility’s officials, it would be quickly diluted, The Telegraph reported Friday.
Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear activist, told The Telegraph the “authorities should have been able to devise a way to remove the tritium instead of simply announcing that they are going to dump it into the ocean.”
“They say that it will be safe because the ocean is large so it will be diluted, but that sets a precedent that can be copied, essentially permitting anyone to dump nuclear waste into our seas,” she added.