TOKYO (Reuters) – A panel of experts advising Japan’s government on a disposal method for radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant on Friday recommended releasing it into the ocean, a move likely to alarm neighboring countries.
The panel under the industry ministry came to the conclusion after narrowing the choice to either releasing the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean or letting it evaporate – and opted for the former. Based on past practice it is likely the government will accept the recommendation.
The build-up of contaminated water at Fukushima has been a sticking point in the clean-up, which is likely to last decades, especially as the Olympics are due to be held in Tokyo this summer with some events less than 60 km (35 miles) from the wrecked plant. [nL4N29R14D]
Neighboring South Korea has retained a ban on imports of seafood from Japan’s Fukushima region imposed after the nuclear disaster and summoned a senior Japanese embassy official last year to explain how the Fukushima water would be dealt with.
Its athletes are planning to bring their own radiation detectors and food to the Games.