TOKYO: Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on Thursday started the second round of the release of treated water from its meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean.
As in the first round, which took place from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11, the operator of the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, will dilute some 7,800 tons of the tritium-containing treated water with a large amount of seawater before releasing it at a point 1 kilometers off the coast via an underground tunnel. The second round will run for about 17 days.
After the end of the first round, TEPCO checked related facilities including pipework and a pump to see if there is any abnormality. The company checked the diluted water on Tuesday and confirmed that the concentration of tritium was below safety standards.
On Thursday, TEPCO started the water discharge by activating a pump around 10:20 a.m.
TEPCO checks the tritium concentration in nearby sea areas every day. Also, the Environment Ministry, the Fisheries Agency and the prefectural government of Fukushima conduct their own inspections on seawater and aquatic products. These inspections confirmed that the concentration levels were below the state standards.
Under TEPCO’s plan, a total of 31,200 tons of treated water will be released into the sea in four rounds.
At a press conference on Thursday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that the government will provide information on the results of its monitoring studies and other measures related to the treated water release in a highly transparent manner to people in and outside Japan. “We’ll work and communicate closely with local communities to ensure safety, take measures against harmful rumors and support the continuation of livelihoods,” he said.