The Fukushima nuclear power plant has always been in controversies in Japan and around the world. Years after the tsunami disaster, the process of cleaning the Fukushima site is still under continuous progress. Japanese Authorities and TEPCO (owner of Fukushima nuclear power plant) together with assistance from IAEA, are continuously monitoring the cleaning processes. A plan was constituted last April to dispose of more than a million tons of treated radioactive water from Fukushima nuclear power plant in the sea. The water was used in cooling the damaged reactor and the accumulation of rainwater and groundwater of the affected area. The huge controversy abrupted over the disposal of treated radioactive water in the sea. To settle the controversy, inspection from an independent body with a worldwide reputation is important to present the true facts in front of the world. Hence, IAEA was invited to schedule to monitor the site, examine the status of the work, document the work, and plan memos according to the international safety standards. The visit was delayed due to an ongoing Omicron wave but rescheduled for 14 February as Mission Monday.
According to the authorities, the water is stored in the tanks at the Fukushima site. The more advanced filtration systems and extensive pumps have removed all the radioactive elements from the water except tritium. Tritium is a beta emitter with a half-life of 12.8 years, abundantly present in seawater, and not harmful for aquatic life and other well-being. Hence it is safe to dispose of that amount of tritiated water in the sea which is scientifically well proven. IAEA task force will scrutinize the radioactive elements and perform the radioactivity characterization of wastewater and its effects on the environment and aquatic life. With the objective of maintaining safety standards and complete transparency of the disposal process, the visit will end on 18th February with a positive outcome.