FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     24th August 2023        

Context: Treated, radioactively contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan, will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean. 

The move has been opposed by the Japan’s neighbour along with major concerns by the fishing industry over potential effects on marine life.

Key Points

  • The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is a disabled nuclear power plant located on a 3.5-square-kilometre site in the towns of Ōkuma and Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
  • The plant suffered major damage from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.
  • The chain of events caused radiation leaks and permanently damaged several reactors, making them impossible to restart.
  • In April 2021, the Japanese government approved the dumping of radioactive water of this power plant into the Pacific Ocean over the course of 30 years.
  • Japan is using Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) technology  to treat the water.
    • ALPS removes most of the radioactive materials from the water except tritium - a rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen. 
    • The water is diluted further with seawater to meet standard.
  • More than half of the free water on Earth is found in the Pacific Ocean, which is the biggest and deepest of the world’s ocean basins.