Japan’s government and Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, will likely start releasing underground water into the sea at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as soon as May.
Fishery cooperatives in Fukushima Prefecture on Friday officially consented to a plan to pump up groundwater before it can be contaminated with radioactive materials at the plant, and release it into the sea.
The plan is considered key to tackling an increase in the volume of contaminated water that’s hampering efforts to scrap the damaged plant.
The government and the firm promised to make sure that radiation levels in groundwater to be released will meet safety standards.
They say a third party will be involved in releasing the water and checking its safety.
The government and TEPCO say they will need about a month to brief local authorities and analyze groundwater before starting to release it.
The chief of the prefecture’s fishery federation, Tetsu Nozaki, says fishery workers think they have no choice but to accept the plan. He calls on the government and TEPCO to strictly follow operational rules.