First phase of Fukushima water release to end on Monday

TOKYO: The first phase of releasing treated wastewater from Fukushima that has angered China will end on Monday (Sep 11) as planned, the stricken Japanese nuclear plant’s operator said.

TEPCO added that levels of radioactive tritium in tested seawater samples near the plant in north-east Japan were within safe limits, according to a statement late on Thursday.

Japan began on Aug 24 discharging into the Pacific some of the 1.34 million tonnes of wastewater that has collected since a tsunami crippled the facility in 2011.

Japan insists that the discharge is safe, a view backed by the UN atomic agency, but China banned all seafood imports from its neighbour, accusing it of treating the sea like a “sewer”.

Announcing the end of the first phase of releasing 7,800 tonnes of water on Sep 11, TEPCO gave no date for the start of the second discharge.

“After completion of the first discharge, we will conduct an inspection of (the) entire … water dilution/discharge facility and review the operational records from the first discharge,” it said.

It added that a “leak alarm” sounded on Wednesday in a wastewater transfer line, but that no leak was detected.

Staff “quickly conducted a field inspection in accordance with safety check procedures and it was confirmed that there was no leak of … treated water,” the statement said.


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