Fisheries officials uneasy at TEPCO plan to release groundwater via Asahi Shimbun

IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture–Local fisheries officials on May 13 withheld their consent to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s plan to release into the sea groundwater that is now flowing into its stricken nuclear power plant.

TEPCO is stuck with a steadily rising volume of highly contaminated water used to cool melted fuel at its crippled reactors. In addition, hundreds of tons of groundwater are flowing daily into the reactor and turbine buildings.

The problem is hindering the utility’s preparation for the decommissioning process.

TEPCO intends to start releasing groundwater into the sea if fisheries officials here agree.

Clearly anticipating they could clinch an agreement, TEPCO officials met May 13 with representatives of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations, the prefectural government and the Fisheries Agency here to discuss the plan. But they made no headway.

The utility envisages pumping groundwater from the site before it reaches the basement of the reactor and turbine buildings, as well as other facilities, and mixes with the highly contaminated water used for cooling.

Some 400 tons of groundwater flows into the complex daily.

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