Fukushima Nuclear Plant’s Operator Says the First Round of Wastewater Release Is Complete

A group of plaintiffs and supporters, demanding revokation of TEPCO’s treated water discharge plan, head to the Fukushima District Court to file a lawsuit, in Fukushima, northeastern Japan, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Fishermen and residents of Fukushima and five other prefectures along Japan’s northeastern coast filed a lawsuit Friday demanding a halt to the ongoing release of treated radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The banner reads “Lawsuit to halt the release of ALPS treated radioactive wastewater.”(Kyodo News via AP)

The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant said Monday that it has safely completed the first release of treated radioactive water from the plant into the sea and will inspect and clean the facility before starting the second round in a few weeks.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant began discharging the treated and diluted wastewater into the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 24. The water has accumulated since the plant was damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and the start of its release is a milestone in the plant’s decommissioning.

The discharge, which is expected to continue for decades until the decommissioning is finished, has been strongly opposed by fishing groups and by neighboring countries. China has banned all imports of Japanese seafood in response, hurting producers and exporters and prompting the Japanese government to compile an emergency relief fund. Groups in South Korea have also fiercely protested, demanding Japan stop the release.

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