An official decision may be made as early as this month and will put an end to years of debate over how to dispose of the water used to cool the power station that suffered core meltdowns in the disasters.Earlier this year, a government subcommittee reported that releasing the water into the sea or evaporating it are "realistic options."
The treated water contains tritium, making it weakly radioactive. More than one million tons of contaminated water is currently stored in huge tanks at the facility. As of September this year, the stored water totaled 1.23 million tons, filling up 1,044 tanks.But, space is expected to run out by the autumn of 2022.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's Director General Rafael Grossi said during his visit to the plant in February, the release of the contaminated water into the sea meets global standards of practice in the industry.
But, widespread concerns remain, with many countries and regions still restricting imports of Japanese agricultural and fishery products in the wake of the 2011 disaster.
Fishermen in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima on Friday voiced their concerns over media reports that the government plans to release treated radioactive water from a crippled nuclear power plant.
Dumping the water into the ocean threatens to hurt Japan’s relationship with South Korea, and comes despite opposition from environmental groups and the local fishing industry, which is still struggling to recover from the disaster.
“The radioactive leak caused by the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has had profound impact on marine environment, food safety and human health. We hope the Japanese government will act with a high sense of responsibility towards its own people, neighboring countries and the international community, conduct thorough assessment of the possible effect of treatment process for tritium-contaminated waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, disclose relevant information in a voluntary, timely, strict, accurate, open and transparent manner, and make prudent decisions after full consultation with neighboring countries.”