Fukushima fishermen delay resuming business due to toxic water leak

Kyodo

A fisheries cooperative in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, that has voluntarily suspended business since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant decided Wednesday to postpone a trial operation set for Sept. 5.

The cooperative has yet to pick a new date. Masakazu Yabuki, head of the cooperative, told reporters after a meeting that “we believe that (the decision to postpone the operation) is logical, as we hear about issues over the leakage into the ocean of contaminated water day in, day out. We intend to conduct the trial operation if the situation settles down.”

The cooperative originally planned to start the test operation in waters off Fukushima from Sept. 5, aiming to ship the produce after checking it for radioactive contamination to confirm safety.

The majority of meeting participants said that starting the operation on Sept. 5 would be difficult after it came to light in July that radioactive water has been spewing into the Pacific Ocean from the nuclear plant.

Fisheries operations have voluntarily suspended their activities in the prefecture since the 2011 disaster. In June last year, the Soma Futaba fisheries cooperative started a test operation off the coast of Soma, north of the crippled plant. Iwaki is located south of the complex.