In a world where the UN is pushing the West (but not China, oddly enough) to drastically cut emissions to save the planet from global warming, where the hottest trend in the investment universe is investing in ESG, it is great that the Japanese government started a similar savagery - to dump treated wastewater from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
TEPCO has finally developed a plan to dispose of the liquid radioactive waste that accumulates in the destroyed reactors of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The company will build a 1 km long undersea pipeline to dump water directly from the ruins of the first reactor into the Pacific Ocean, where, according to experts, it will be rapidly diluted and carried away by ocean currents.
As reported by the Japan Times. an underwater tunnel 1 km long will be laid in the rocky base near block 5, towards the east, towards the sea.
The news released on Tuesday is not unexpected. TEPCO is a Japanese power company tasked with overseeing the cleanup of a nuclear power plant that was the epicenter of a major nuclear disaster when an earthquake and tsunami that hit the plant led to the partial melting of the core of three reactors. Apart from Chernobyl, the Fukushima accident is the only nuclear incident classified as level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
According to Nikkei, TEPCO plans to officially announce its decision on Wednesday. The final plan will then be submitted to Japan's Nuclear Safety Authority next month. The fishing industry in the area is understandably opposed, but few analysts expect their resistance to derail the plan, given that there are no other options for disposing of the radioactive waste water.
Since the Japanese government approved the plan in April, TEPCO has been studying whether this water should be dumped offshore or diverted further out to sea.
The plan to dump radioactive water further offshore ultimately won out, as experts decided that such a strategy gave a better chance of being attributed to ocean currents (obviously, the strength and direction of the currents could make the discharge much more difficult).
Hotel owners and others in Fukushima have also spoken out in favor of dumping water far enough offshore to preserve their reputation (and to avoid potential claims for damages). Before dumping contaminated water, TEPCO plans to purify it from radiation as much as possible, and then dilute it at least 100 times with seawater.
To be sure, Japanese fishermen are not the only parties opposing the plan. Back in April, China strongly condemned Japan's plans to dump radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean, and went so far as to threaten retaliation.
Pumping water out of at least one reactor is an important step towards decontaminating Fukushima, but the work is far from complete. Last year, TEPCO outlined a plan for the decommissioning of reactor No. 2, which will take 44 years.
All this almost guarantees that Japan will not finish the liquidation of the consequences of the disaster at Fukushima anytime soon. Perhaps she will not have time to eliminate them even by the time she accepts the next Olympics.