Japan seeks support for Fukushima nuclear water release

Japan’s government adopted an interim plan Tuesday that it hopes will win support from fishermen and other concerned groups for a planned release into the sea of treated but still radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, reported AP.

In April, the government decided to start discharging the water into the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 2023 after building a facility and compiling release plans under safety requirements set by regulators. The idea has been fiercely opposed by fishermen, residents and Japan’s neighbors including China and South Korea. The interim plan adopted Tuesday, the government will set up a fund to buy fisheries products and freeze them for temporary storage to cushion the impact from negative rumors about the discharge. The government will also help promote Fukushima products to restaurants and other food industries and to start raising fish in the water treated to levels allowable for discharge as part of a safety awareness campaign. Further details have yet to be decided. The accumulating water has been stored in about 1,000 tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi plant since 2011, when a massive earthquake and tsunami damaged its reactors and their cooling water became contaminated and began leaking. The plant says its storage capacity will be full late next year.