6 June 2024

Japan plans to start releasing treated radioactive water from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean as early as late August, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun daily reported on Monday, citing unnamed government sources.

The release will likely come shortly after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets with U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in the United States next week and explain to them the safety of the water in question, it said.

Japan’s nuclear regulator last month granted approval for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power 9501.T to start releasing the water – which Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency say is safe but nearby countries fear it may contaminate food.

Bottom trawling fishing is scheduled to start off Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo, in September, and the government aims to start the water discharge before the fishing season gets underway, the newspaper said.

By Kiyoshi Takenaka Reuters