Fishermen press Tepco to end radioactive water problem at Fukushima

Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM
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TOKYO, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A fishermen's group pushed Tokyo Electric Power Co. to ensure there wouldn't be any more leaks of radioactive water from its crippled nuclear power plant.

"Your company's radioactive water management has failed," the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations told Tepco President Naomi Hirose after the organization summoned him to its office in Tokyo.

The federation urged the utility to work to end problems arising from radioactive water accumulating at the plant, The Mainichi reported.

"We want the problem to be fundamentally resolved as early as possible under the state's leadership," the federation said.

Hirose apologized for the recently confirmed leak of highly toxic water at one of the water storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, some of which may have flowed into the Pacific Ocean, The Mainichi reported.

Hirose said radioactive water is Tepco's "biggest business challenge."

The federation said local fishermen were "largely disappointed" by the toxic water issue because they've been waiting to resume fishing operations.

An Atomic Energy Society of Japan panel suggested diluting and releasing radioactive water from the Fukushima plant into the ocean instead of storing the water in above-ground tanks, The Mainichi said.

The accident investigation board, which has been looking into the Fukushima nuclear disaster, said in its report, it would be possible "to dilute the contaminated water to levels found in the natural world and release it into the ocean after removing radioactive materials other than tritium."

The panel said tritium is generated naturally and is found in small amounts in seawater.

The Mainichi said it was unlikely such a scenario would occur soon because Tepco's water decontamination system isn't fully operational.

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