The Japanese government met with the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations as they appeal for the association’s approval in releasing groundwater from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant into the sea. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) officials sought the group’s consent on the condition that water to be released would be at a radioactive level below the legal limit.
Speaking to Hiroshi Kishi, head of the association, METI officials outlined their plan to address and lessen the concerns of local fishermen, who bore the brunt of the radioactive leaks reflected on decreased sales. The ministry plans to pump out groundwater from the crippled plant into the Pacific Ocean before it blends with highly radioactive water starting to pool at the basement of the reactor buildings. An estimated 400 tons of radioactive water is stored in tanks by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. within the premises, and the amount is continually increasing. Plant operator TEPCO has already set up dozen pumping wells, but have not operated them because of locals protesting the move. METI suggested a more stringent maximum contamination level when releasing the water. While TEPCO and the government believes that groundwater with less than 10 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive material, like strontium-90, and 30,000 becquerels per liter of tritium, will be enough to meet the legal limit, they decided to lower the goal and set it at 5 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive material and 1,500 becquerels per liter of tritium.
Ministry officials also informed the federation that there would be radiation level checks every time water is to be released into the sea and that it will stop pumping if it exceeds the given limit. Kishi, who acknowledges the importance of such process, said that the federation will make a decision after carefully considering the system and assessing its environmental effects.
[via Voice of Russia]