The contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear plant is a big problem now for Japan’s government

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On 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the north-eastern coast of Japan, triggering a 15-metre tsunami. Fukushima nuclear plant was affected. A report by Greenpeace recently revealed that contaminated water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant contains a radioactive substance that has the potential to damage human DNA. It contains “dangerous levels of carbon-14”. Afrer the tsunami s the facility’s cooling systems failed, tonnes of radioactive material were released. The meltdown was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. For years Japan has debated over what to do with the more than a million tonnes of water used to cool the power station, which went into meltdown in 2011 after being hit by a massive tsunami. The radioactive water has been stored in huge tanks which will fill up by 2022.

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A complex filtration process was applied but one isotope, tritium, cannot be removed. According a plan, the water would be diluted inside the plant first in a process but this would take several decades. Media reports suggested the government plans to release the water into the ocean but no final decision has been made. Environmental groups have long expressed their opposition to this. Some scientists say the water would quickly be diluted in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and that tritium poses a low risk to human and animal health. On Friday Japan’s industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said „we need to make a decision quickly.”