Fukushima Residents Cautious Over Water Discharge

Fukushima residents cautious over water discharge

Many Fukushima residents have expressed concern over a possible scheme to release diluted radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the sea or air in the prefecture.

The government on Monday held the first meeting to hear local opinions on ways to handle the wastewater accumulating at the plant.

The water, after treatment, still contains tritium and some other radioactive substances. It has reached roughly 1.2 million tons, stored in nearly 1,000 tanks at the plant.

A government panel earlier reported that releasing the wastewater into the sea or air are realistic options on the condition that it is diluted below the required standards.

The prefectural governor and local representatives from seven commercial and fisheries organizations attended the meeting held in Fukushima City.

Many voiced concern over damage caused by rumors that would be connected to the release. The head of a local fisheries association said fishers oppose the discharge of the water into the sea, stressing the need to ensure the livelihood of young fishermen.

Some attendees argued that if the release of the diluted water is safe as the government says, officials should also discuss it with the residents of other prefectures.

Others said the government should not jump to a conclusion at a stage where the understanding of the matter among the public is not very deep.

Some people were willing to accept the discharge in the prefecture on the condition that compensation would be provided for loss from groundless rumors.

The government plans a similar meeting in the prefecture on April 13.