Today: Saturday, 2 March 2024 year

The Japanese minister before the discharge of water from the nuclear power plant called for more seafood.

The Japanese minister before the discharge of water from the nuclear power plant called for more seafood.

Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura took part in a tasting of seafood from across the country, during which he called for increased consumption of products from the Tohoku region, which is home to areas affected by the earthquake and the Fukushima-1 nuclear accident in 2011.

The minister visited a booth displaying seafood from the Tohoku region and tasted some of them. The event took place on the eve of the day of the expected start of the discharge of low-level radioactive water from the emergency nuclear power plant Fukushima-1.

“We intend to start dumping purified water into the ocean tomorrow. We intend to receive data from international organizations and publish the details of seafood safety inspections daily. Since we guarantee safety, we will make every possible effort to expand sales and consumption. I want to convey a sense of pride for the local products,” Nishimura said.

The day before, the Japanese government announced its intention to start dumping water into the ocean from August 24, if there are no obstacles from weather conditions.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the station on Sunday and met with its leadership. On Monday, he met with the leadership of the National Federation of Associations of Fishing Cooperatives, where the fishermen said that they oppose the discharge of water into the ocean because of reputational risks. Despite this, the government considered that “to a certain extent” it was possible to achieve an understanding of the parties concerned, in connection with which today at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, the dates for the start of the discharge of water from the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant into the ocean were determined.

 


During the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant in 2011, nuclear fuel melted at the first, second and third reactors. The water that is used to cool the reactors and is contaminated with radioactive substances passes through a multi-stage ALPS system, which makes it possible to purify it from 62 types of radionuclides, with the exception of tritium. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, otherwise it is called “superheavy hydrogen” or 3H, which makes it difficult to clean water from it. Tritium exists in nature, due to weak beta radiation its effect on humans is limited, at the same time it is dangerous if it enters the body.

Water purified from radionuclides with the exception of tritium is now stored in giant tanks at the station. Every day, about 140 tons of radioactive water are added to them. About one thousand giant tanks have been installed at the station, but almost 90% of their volume of 1.37 million tons has already been filled.

 


The issue of water disposal methods has been considered since 2013. Among others, options were considered to mix it with cement and concrete underground, to separate hydrogen by electrolysis, and others. In the end, the government decided to start dumping water into the sea, after diluting it and bringing the concentration of tritium to 1,500 becquerels per liter, which is 40 times less than the norm adopted in Japan for draining water into the sea from the operation of operating nuclear power plants – 60 thousand becquerels. According to the Ministry of Industry of Japan, the radioactivity of tritium in the 1.25 million tons of water accumulated at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant is 860 trillion becquerels. Before the accident, the station was dumping 2.2 trillion becquerels of tritium-containing water into the sea every year.