Japan said on Tuesday it will start releasing more than 1 million metric tonnes of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant on Aug. 24, putting into motion a plan that has drawn strong criticism from China.
The plan, approved two years ago by the Japanese government as crucial to decommissioning the plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco)
“I have asked Tepco to swiftly prepare for the water discharge in accordance with the plan approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, and expect the water release to start on August 24, weather conditions permitting,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday morning.
The announcement comes a day after the government said it had won “a degree of understanding” from the fishing industry over the release of the water, even as a fishing group said it still feared the reputational damage would ruin livelihoods.(9501.T), has also faced criticism from local fishing groups, who fear reputational damage and a threat to their livelihood.
“I promise that we will take on the entire responsibility of ensuring the fishing industry can continue to make their living, even if that will take decades,” Kishida said on Monday.
Japan has said that the water release is safe. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, greenlighted the plan in July, saying that it met international standards and that the impact it would have on people and the environment was “negligible”.