Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan will start releasing treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea on Thursday, weather conditions permitting, despite concerns among local fishermen and persistent opposition from China.
The controversial decision was made at a ministerial meeting on Tuesday morning, as a significant amount of the water has accumulated at the site since the 2011 nuclear accident triggered by a devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami, according to Japan's News Agency (KYODO).
In April 2021, Kishida's predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, gave his approval for the release of the water into the Pacific Ocean "in around two years."
The International Atomic Energy Agency concluded in July that Japan's plan aligns with global safety standards and would have a "negligible radiological impact on people and the environment," prompting the government to proceed with the water discharge.
The Fukushima plant has stored more than 1.3 million tons of water through a custom purification system known as the Advanced Liquid Processing System, since three reactors melted down after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast in March 2011.
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