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Japan to release treated Fukushima power plant water into the sea

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  • Japan to release treated Fukushima power plant water into the sea

    Date 16.10.2020

    The Japanese government plans to release treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, according to reports published Friday.

    The decision ends years of speculation over what to do with the more than one million tons of water that were treated after the power plant was severely damaged and suffered a meltdown due to the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2011.

    ... Tokyo Electric said it has removed most of the radioactivity from the water.

    The filtration system was able to remove all but one of the radioactive isotopes that were found in the water. That final isotope is tritium, which cannot be removed by currently existing technology.

    An expert panel said that tritium is only harmful in very large doses.

    ... South Korea, which bans seafood imports from the region, has also voiced its concern about the plan.

    Tritium: A radioactive isotope of hydrogen

    Tritium is a beta-emitting radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Its nucleus consists of one proton and two neutrons, making it three times as heavy as a hydrogen nucleus (with its one proton) and one-and-a-half times as heavy as deuterium (which contains one proton and only one neutron).

    The half-life of the unstable tritium nucleus is of 12.3 years, which is very short on the radioactive time-scale.

    The World Health Organization, WHO) considers that the limit of acceptability of water containing tritium is 10,000 Becquereles per liter. This limit is protective. One should drink 2 liters of such water everuyday a day for a year to be exposed to a dose of 0.1 mSv per year equivalent to two weeks of natural radioactivity in France.

  • #2
    Contaminant Mixture in Fukushima Wastewater Highlights the Risks of Ocean Dumping

    Aug 07, 2020 | Original story from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    An article published August 7 in the journal Science takes a look at some of the many radioactive elements contained in the tanks and suggests that more needs to be done to understand the potential risks of releasing wastewater from the tanks into the ocean.

    ... Isotopes that remain in the treated wastewater include carbon-14, cobalt-60, and strontium-90. These and the other isotopes that remain, which were only revealed in 2018, all take much longer to decay and have much greater affinities for seafloor sediments and marine organisms like fish, which means they could be potentially hazardous to humans and the environment for much longer and in more complex ways than tritium.

    “The current focus on tritium in the wastewater holding tanks ignores the presence other radioactive isotopes in the wastewater,” said Buesseler. “It’s a hard problem, but it’s solvable. The first step is to clean up those additional radioactive contaminants that remain in the tanks, and then make plans based on what remains.

    Ken O. Buesseler. Opening the floodgates at Fukushima. Science 07 Aug 2020: Vol. 369, Issue 6504, pp. 621-622, DOI: 10.1126/science.abc1507


    • #3
      They have already released it into the sea. I think there were some initial large accidental releases immediately after the earthquake and then I think there were some planned releases.

      We have an entire forum on this topic.

      Please see: