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Japan’s Response to Tritium Discharge from Nuclear Power Plants: Insights on the Situation

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TOKYO, July 6 – Hirokazu Matsuno, Secretary General of the Japanese Government, in response to a request from journalists to comment on China and South Korea’s criticism of Tokyo’s plans for emergency dumping of water from the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant, noted that these same countries dump water containing radioactive materials. tritium from their stations as effluent.
At the same time, Matsuno reiterated that the Japanese government “intends to continue explaining in a calm and responsible manner” in order to resolve all doubts about the plan to dump low-level radioactive water from the nuclear power plant into the ocean.

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Earlier this week, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, delivered to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida a final report evaluating the plan to release water into the ocean. Grossi stressed during the press conference that the Japanese government’s plan meets all international standards. He also noted that the water testing system is reliable, as the analyzes are carried out in several independent laboratories, which “confirms its objectivity.”
Last week, TERSO, the operator of the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, completed the construction of an underwater tunnel to drain weakly radioactive water, purified from almost all radionuclides, except for tritium, into the ocean at a distance of one kilometer from the plant.
In January, the Japanese government decided that the discharge of water would begin this summer, but a specific timetable has not yet been announced. Earlier in July, Japanese media reported that Fumio Kishida would make a decision on the release start date after meeting with IAEA representatives and reviewing the report.
The issue of water disposal methods has been considered since 2013. Among other things, options for mixing it with cement and concrete underground, for hydrogen separation by electrolysis, and others were considered. In the end, the government decided to start dumping the water into the sea, after diluting it and raising the tritium concentration to 1,500 Bq per liter, which is 40 times less than the standards adopted in Japan for the discharge of water into the sea from the process. Operating nuclear power plants – 60,000 Bq per litre.

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