Japan has commenced the controlled release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, marking a significant step 12 years after the plant’s meltdown.
The decision, endorsed by the UN’s atomic regulator, is stated to adhere to safety standards and is expected to have a minimal impact on both humans and the environment.
While the discharged water meets rigorous filtration processes, concerns have arisen from neighboring countries including China, South Korea, and various Pacific islands. In response to the release, Hong Kong and Macau have prohibited imports of Japanese seafood.
Japan has indicated that the discharged water has been filtered to primarily remove one radioactive isotope, tritium, which cannot be entirely extracted from water and will be diluted. To ensure safety, the tritium level of the discharged water will be limited to 1,500 becquerels per liter, six times lower than the World Health Organization’s limit for drinking water.
The process of discharging the treated water began facilitated by an underwater tunnel.