Every day for some six years 300 — 400 tonnes of water have washed through the remains of the four nuclear reactors destroyed during the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011. Some of the water is groundwater that scientists have failed to prevent running through the site, but a lot of it (300 tonnes at least a day) is water that is required to be poured continuously down through the remains of the three reactors whose nuclear fuel melted—down to or below the bottom of the reactor vessels, to prevent the cores heating up to the level where an uncontrolled chain reaction would occur. In either case the water becomes radioactive as it picks up radioactive isotopes on its way through the site,
Heretofore, TEPCO, the owners of the plant, have made strenuous efforts to try to prevent all this radioactive water from entering the Pacific – mainly by storing some 800,000 tonnes of it in large tanks. However T EPCO has now decided to give up the struggle and release all this water into the Pacific. It‘s true that the Japanese government has to authorise such a release, but Takashi Kawamura, the chair of TEPCO, has announced that ”the decision has already been made”, which seems to suggest that he, at least, is conﬁdent of government authorisation.
But presumably TEPCO spent so many years of effort and oodles of money, trying to prevent this happening because it thought it would be disastrous for all this radioactive water to enter the Pacific and thus for its reputation. So what has changed? lt’s claimed that some of the radioactive isotopes in the water have been removed, though it would be useful to know how many and which, and, more importantly, which remain. It is admitted on all sides, however, that tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, has not been removed; the only dispute here is over how harmful tritium is.
Local fishermen are furious at plans to release the radioactive water since it will ﬁrst contaminate their ﬁshing grounds off their coast.
from Nuclear Trains Action Group News September 2017
No doubt the UN and all the nations bordering the Paciﬁc will protest against this gross pollution — Ed.