The Japanese make it clear that they are no longer able to contain such huge amounts of contaminated water. For two years there has been a lot of talk about draining water from reservoirs into the Pacific Ocean, but these plans met with great resistance from fishermen. Now the Japanese authorities finally decided to carry out such an action in 2022.
Experts from TEPCO say that every 4 days a new tank is erected, which can hold 600 tons of water. Currently, there are as many as 1.4 million tons of contaminated liquid on slick tips site of the power plant. It is already held in 1044 tanks.
This water comes from the reactor slime cooling systems. Although it is filtered for radioactive substances and reused, the process is time-consuming and engineers are unable to reuse all the water. Therefore, it is stored on the premises of the facility. It should be noted here that the liquid in the tanks is the most contaminated.
Representatives of TEPCO, the plant's operator, say they are succeeding in removing radionuclides such as cesium and strontium from water, but failing for the hydrogen isotope tritium. The side effect of cesium and strontium filtration is stored in the form of sodium in specially created tanks on the site, located at a safe distance from the others.
The TEPCO authorities and the country's government have been considering the option of draining the water into the Pacific Ocean for 2 years, because it may lead to an ecological disaster. According to the latest report, in less than 2 years, the facility will no longer be able to store tanks and then the problem will become catastrophic. The company wants to start cleaning and dismantling the damaged facility as soon as possible.
The whole matter is closely watched by environmentalists, including the Greenpeace organization. Yoshiaki Harada, Japan's Minister of the Environment, believes that releasing radioactive water into the ocean will be the best way to contain this stalemate, as the radioactive substances will be diluted and will not pose a threat to people and the environment.
This solution seems like a good idea. It is dangerous to store such amounts of contaminated water and other substances in one place, and in extremely seismic areas. Were there to be a massive earthquake and the impact of new tsunami waves, the consequences would be far more deplorable than the gradual release of water into the Pacific Ocean
Meanwhile, environmentalists and fishing associations warn that radionuclides can accumulate in fish and crustaceans that will be eaten by humans, for example. This can increase the incidence of bone cancer or leukemia.