The government is considering borrowing a Japan-funded radioactive waste disposal facility from Russia to help contain the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, a nuclear safety agency official said Tuesday.
“We are checking whether it is technically possible to use the facility for this event, and whether the facility’s machines are working smoothly,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told a news conference.
He said Japan has already been communicating with Russia over possible use of the floating facility, called Suzuran, which Japan gave to Russia in 2001 to help dispose of low-level radioactive waste from decommissioned submarines.
Japan offered the facility after Russia dumped radioactive waste into the Sea of Japan in 1993 in the process of dismantling its nuclear subs.
The government defended on Tuesday dumping massive amounts of low-level radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, saying the action doesn’t violate international laws, and pledged to fully inform the international community of steps to tackle the emergency.
Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said the government briefed the diplomatic corps in Tokyo on the start of the disposal hours before Tokyo Electric Power Co. began releasing the water into the Pacific Ocean on Monday evening.
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