FUKUSHIMA – The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. plan to start diverting the uncontaminated groundwater flowing into the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to the ocean as early as next month, officials said Friday.
The plan to pump up groundwater before it mingles with radiation-tainted water from the plant’s damaged reactor buildings and release it into the sea was approved by local fishermen last month.
“The groundwater to be released at the very beginning will be analyzed thoroughly, for as long as about a month,” said Toshihide Kasutani, a senior official at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
After explaining the diversion plan to the concerned municipalities, the government and Tepco will pump up groundwater for a month of radiation checks, the officials said.
Kasutani made the comments after attending a meeting of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Association held in Iwaki.
At the meeting, government and TEPCO officials gave a detailed explanation of measures to be taken to dispel fishermen’s concerns about radioactive contamination from the groundwater release.
The measures include radiation checks by a third-party inspector, inspection of the release by government officials and paying for damages from any unfounded rumors.