TOKYO: Massive amounts of contaminated water from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan may have to be released into the ocean as it runs out of space to store it, country’s environment minister said on Tuesday.
More than a million tonnes of water that has been used to cool melted reactors is kept in giant tanks.
Fisherman’s groups are strongly opposed to the idea but many scientists say it would pose a low risk.
The government said a final decision had not yet been taken.
Reactor buildings at the Fukushima power plant were damaged by hydrogen explosions caused by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Three reactors melted down.
The Japanese government decided that the area would be cleaned in a vast operation which will take many decades to complete.
For the last eight years around 200 tonnes of radioactive water have been pumped out of the damaged reactor buildings every day.
Most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed using a complex filtration process. But one isotope, tritium, cannot be removed so the water has been stored in huge tanks which will fill up by 2022.