Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said on Monday that water leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plant may be released into the sea once it has reached acceptable radiation levels. The plan is part of the government’s initiative to take charge of the Fukushima cleanup after Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) admitted last month that 300 tons of contaminated water has leaked from one of its storage tanks.
“It is important for us to understand the need to make difficult judgments in order to avoid larger problems in the future,” Tanaka said. TEPCO reported that the radiation level near one of its storage tanks has reached 1,800 millisieverts an hour over the weekend. On the same spot on August 22, radiation level was at 1,000 millisieverts an hour. The NRA chief clarified that the water leaks to be dumped into the sea will first go through filtration and other processes in order to lower the radiation level. The plant may have gone on meltdown two years ago, but TEPCO has still not been able to fully address issues, like the water leaks that have raised concerns among the residents and the international community.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has told Japan’s lawmakers that the government intends to provide a “complete package” of emergency measures to resolve the issue. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato reiterated Suga’s statement and said that the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters may present the proposed interventions to address the problem in Fukushima as early as Tuesday.
[ via Boston Globe ]