Suspension of Fukushima Wastewater Release Following Earthquake

Fri Mar 15 2024
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TOKYO: The release of wastewater from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant was temporarily halted on Friday (March 15) after an earthquake struck off the coast of the northeastern Fukushima region.

The 5.8-magnitude quake occurred at 12:14 am local time, triggering precautionary measures by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

TEPCO confirmed the absence of abnormalities in the water release process, known as ALPS treated water dilution/discharge facility, but opted to suspend operations as a safety precaution. However, subsequent checks revealed no anomalies, and TEPCO announced plans to resume water release later that day.

Despite concerns, no radiation leaks were detected, and monitoring posts indicated normal readings. Japan’s nuclear regulatory authority also reported no abnormalities at the Fukushima Daiichi plant or its sister facility, Fukushima Daini, following the quake.

The operation to release wastewater into the Pacific Ocean began last August, aiming to dispose of water collected since the 2011 nuclear accident. While endorsed by the United Nations atomic agency and deemed safe by TEPCO, the release has drawn criticism from China and Russia, leading to bans on Japanese seafood imports.

Although Japan experiences frequent earthquakes, the majority cause no damage. There were no immediate reports of injuries from this recent quake, and no tsunami warning was issued.

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