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Japan: Environmentalists say Fukushima water too radioactive to release via DW

Environmental groups are skeptical of a Japanese government declaration claiming that contaminated water stored at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is safe to release into the ocean.

Officials from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry addressed a government committee Monday, and said that the health risk associated with releasing water that absorbed radionuclides in the aftermath of the March 2011 nuclear accident would be “small.”

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Contamination questions

TEPCO and the government have long believed that the best way to dispose of the water is to simply release it into the ocean. They claimed until this year that contaminated water had been cleansed by a so-called advanced liquid processing system to the point that virtually all the radionuclides had been reduced to “non-detect” levels. 

Leaked TEPCO documents, however, show that varying amounts of 62 radionuclides — including strontium, iodine, cesium and cobalt — have not been removed from the water. 

The company has also been criticized for refusing to permit independent organizations to test the water that is being stored at the site.

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