Officials from Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on Monday met with a Fukushima fisheries cooperative to seek its members’ permission to dump groundwater from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.
The contaminated water storage has been a problem since early in the accident. TEPCO officials acknowledged last month that a lack of storage space has become a “crisis.” TEPCO has promised to speed up building more reliable steel tanks and eventually empty the underground tanks.
Runoff from the three reactors melted in the aftermath of the March 2011 quake-tsunami and a steady inflow of groundwater seeping into the basement of their damaged buildings produce about 400 tons of contaminated water daily at the plant.
TEPCO says 280,000 tons of contaminated water has been stored in tanks on the plant, and the amount would double within a few years.
At Monday’s meeting, TEPCO officials outlined their plan to the fishermen’s cooperative in which it hopes to divert groundwater into the ocean, TV Asahi reported. TEPCO said only water with low radioactivity would be dumped.
A spokesman for the fishermen was quoted by TV Asahi as saying it would be difficult to give approval to such a plan but added that the cooperative will study the plan.
TEPCO also needs the central government’s approval to implement such a plan.