Regulator urges release of treated Fukushima radioactive water into sea


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Since tritium is a low energy beta emitter, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin), but it can be a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin.

Ah, but releasing one million tons of water with tritium is safe?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Tritium has 7-14 days half life, so safe generally, yeah. Your fire alarm also works on beta decay. The issue is that they don't have enough tanks. If they released it in stages so that enough half-lives occurred to reduce the radiation maybe better than releasing it all at once

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Any juiced water released needs to be thoroughly monitored as to where it is heading and what the levels of radioactivity are. In addition that data needs to be made public on a daily basis in the form of video showing exactly what is happening. If Japan releases radioactive water without doing this then in my estimation it should be considered a crime.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Do you just love the Mayor's comments Yukiei Matsumoto, mayor of Naraha town near the Fukushima plant, Fuketa said, "It is scientifically clear that there will be no influence to marine products or to the environment" following the water release. O honto ni ? ...outa sight outof mind ? more lies from government officials.

The next thing will be two headed octopus's and glow in the dark wakame coming out of the kuroi current .

Its the main body of water for fishing along japan's east coast ..sounds a bit nieve to me ...

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Sf2k If tritium truly only has a half life of 7 to 14 days then why do they make this statement?

"but tritium, a radioactive substance considered relatively harmless to humans, remains in the filtered water as it is difficult to separate even after passing through a treatment "

If it only has a half life of 7 to 14 days, shouldn't all the stored water be free of tritium by now?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If the water is so safe why don't they bottle it and sell it as drinking water?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"If it only has a half life of 7 to 14 days, shouldn't all the stored water be free of tritium by now?"

No because it's a half life. Its an exponential decay rate. It doesn't just 50% go away and then the other 50% goes away making it free and clear of radiation in 14-28 days.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The half life of Tritium (an extremely weak ionizer) is actually 12.3 years. Tritium emits Beta particles that have a relatively low kinetic energy 6KeV and pretty much would not pass through a piece of paper. In water it remains as a dissolved gas. It exists in nature and also it in man made products (think about the egress signs that glow in the dark during a power loss).

What is not mentioned in the article is the concentration of Tritium in the water tanks. This is critical information in determining the actual risk of releasing this water.

This is a tough call as contaminated water will continue to be generated at the site for years and they are going to run out of space to store this water and also have an added risk of spilling this water on the ground rather then dumping into the ocean (a huge volume of water where it will be quickly diluted).

As much as I think that TEPCO and the government created this man made disaster they might actually be making the right call. But I think to provide an accurate and educated answer the concentration of Tritium which now exists in the tanks needs to be known.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Stepoutsidethebox Thank you!

It sounds like the term "half life" has no relation to radiation being safe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Toyoshi Fuketa says “Release the contaminated water” Toyoshi Fuketa did not say the water is not contaminated? Toyoshi Fuketa Chairperson of Japan Nuclear Regulation thinks the “solution to pollution is dilution”. Fukushima fisherman and frankly all fishermen know that contaminated water causes contaminated life forms that live in newly contaminated water. Toyoshi Fuketa please reconsider your options

open to decontaminate water? Evaporated water doesn’t pollute. Again I know this hard concept compared to dilution but please for sake of all life forms living in water; evaporate contaminated water. OT sorry Tidal Energy in Goto Islands is fantastic.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Stuart - The only relation half life has to radiation safety during a risk assessment is the duration of the hazard. Otherwise you are completely right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The "ice wall" was a foolish idea to begin with. The continual energy input required to keep the ground frozen should have set off alarm bells when it was first proposed. It is apparent it must not be working as advertized. 

Injecting a polymer around and under the contaiment buildings that would harden to become a continous "plastic wall" thus preventing the inflow of ground water might work. Directional drilling and injection technologies already exist. 

There IS a solution to the ground water unflow problem.Just don't give up!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So the ice wall not quite performing as advertised, not a clue what to do with contaminated water besides dumping it into the sea. Contaminated water is as the name suggests its contaminated. Flushing it out to sea might solve the problem visually but has the potential to cause bigger problems that aren't so visual. The tanks like the emergency housing are well past their shelf life. Forward planning not a strong point. Yea for the Nuclear Industry, yea for Oversite, yea for a Government that cares so little for people and the environment. All very Zen.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Release it into an inland lake if it is unharmful. Don't contaminate the ocean!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Cricky - TEPCO actually admitted the ice wall was not working in 2016. As I said the contaminated water will continue to be generated for years.

The issue here is whether or not to release the water into the sea, where it will become very highly diluted or to continue to try to store the water in these tanks where there is a relatively high risk of this water leaking on land (earthquake, piping failure at a fitting, leaking tank, etc.).

For all of the people posting; here what would you do?

The has accident happened. Contaminated water will continue to be produced. There are alot of pretty good people working on this problem (not only from TEPCO and not only from Japan) and it is a huge challenge.

I would hate to have to be the person or a member of the team that decides whether to release the water or not. Very tough call.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And yet, that idiot of a PM wants to start up the nukes again?? 7 years later and they still can't manage the disaster properly. Its madness.

6 ( +8 / -2 )


Agree with you 100%!

I bet if it's USA dumping even just a ton of tritium water in Guam then President Trump would be lambasted by everyone including Obama and Clinton!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Because it is a hard decision does not mean you have to make the wrong decision.

The water is contaminated, yes dumping it in the ocean may dilute it to a level where it is no longer a hazard to humans but ocean currents are not always co-operative and may lead to less dilution than expected but of greater significance is the biological problem. The dilute radioactivity will be absorbed by marine life and then progressively concentrated up the food chain to the top predator; which is you!

Without clear and comprehensive independent research in to the effects and consequences there is no way anyone can say this is safe.

Tokyo-Engr - agreed the concentration is a vital factor and one that has conveniently been left out of the announcements.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And we still think nuclear power is a good idea?..............

6 ( +7 / -1 )

contains radioactive tritium even after being treated should be released into the sea after dilution.

Released into the sea 'after' dilution? I think that should be, 'for' dilution. Tritium is irradiated hydrogen, so it's impossible to remove from water and will 'dilute' in the ocean. However, we are not talking about a few bucket fulls of irradiated water. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of tons of it, which is growing every day and will continue to grow for the next two or three decades. This means, it will have to be continually released in large amounts for the next few decades. I dunno about this "half-life" statement. If this were so, the tritium in the storage tanks would have already dissipated, would it not? The fact is, due to the huge amounts of tritium tainted water that will be dumped, there has to be a negative environmental impact regardless of what they are saying. This idea was first floated two years ago and was strongly rejected. They have just been sitting on their hands waiting for it to reach crisis point where they have no other option than to dump it into the Pacific. Good for you TEPCO!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is a decision to be made by the international nuclear regulatory authority not a local mayor!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The IAEA approved the release some time ago and was slammed on JT for it by the resident experts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The LDP has already irradiated the entire Pacific Ocean with its incredible incompetence and corruption with the Nuclear Village in Japan. It has taken years for the ocean to recover from 311, so now the TEPCO idiots want to dump more radiation into the ocean since they have no idea what else to do after the meltdown. This alone is enough to eliminate Nuclear energy in Japan and totally reform TEPCO to make it care about the environment and the Japanese people and not just profits and the next job for the amakudari,

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Like it or not ...they gotta do what they gotta do...

They know what their doing. ...

And theres nothing else they can do.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Just a guess Japanese people will start buying imported seafood in the future

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Evaporated water doesn’t pollute. Again I know this hard concept compared to dilution but please for sake of all life forms living in water; evaporate contaminated water.

Tritium will evaporate along with the water as part of the water vapor. If the tritium level is high, evaporation will produce radioactive water in the air that will fall as rain. Dilution will make a difference. And it will dilute further if dumped into the sea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Holy crap, I'm going to trust a company that has a proven history of lying a government that looks the other way. A body Intrusted with health and safety stacked with yes men mmm, nothing they say is to be believed, totally their fault. They are old men trying to save themselves at the cost of tax payers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I can see the advantages of nuclear power, but following the news and seeing how we deal with disasters and the aftermath also the horrendous cost, I makes me wonder if NP is the way forward, I think that any country who is considering going down this route needs there head testing!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

News about Fukushima Nuclear disaster have decreased in Japan's news show year by year.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Apparently just talking about Fucashima is taboo as its a national disgrace, so don't expect good news just silence and perhaps an advisory to steer clear of sea foods from the Eastern coastline for 1,000 years to be safe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I bet if it's USA dumping even just a ton of tritium water in Guam then President Trump would be lambasted by everyone including Obama and Clinton!

I'm not sure why you mentioned Guam, but many tons of tritiated water are released from nuclear plants in the USA and other countries every year. I don't hear much lambasting. The link below is to a typical annual report from a single plant in Texas.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Designer, exactly my thoughts. I loathe everything nuclear.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Their plan is to dilute it twice. Presumably they will channel in an external flow of clean water and start measured dumping into that. Carried to the sea in such a diluted form, it would be further naturally dissipated once in the ocean.

The tanks were quickly bolted together in emergency, but they were never expected to be a long-term solution.

What must be worrying them is the thought of a runaway domino effect. One tank on the hillside rupturing from corrosion and/or earthquake could start a series of burst balloons. Which is better, an uncontrolled series of ruptured tanks, or a gradual controlled blend back into the ocean?

I am guessing that this is the simple hard choice and decision they face. Apportionment of blame is not part of the equation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


steer clear of sea foods from the Eastern coastline for 1,000 years to be safe.

Sadly, Japanese government is suing other nations blocking seafood imports from Fukushima area at WTO.

Abe san really does believe that Japanese radiation is special and safe.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fuketa said, "It is scientifically clear that there will be no influence to marine products or to the environment" following the water release.


2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nice job you're doing, Mr. Regulator.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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