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Japan faces tough call on releasing Fukushima wastewater

Reputational fallout looms large over Olympics and local fishermen

Workers stand near storage tanks holding radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Japanese government may need to make a decision regarding its fate as early as this summer.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is dragging its feet on the growing cache of radioactive water from the defunct Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, concerned about the optics ahead of the Summer Olympics here.

Contaminated water from the Fukushima plant can be realistically disposed of only via discharge into the ocean or evaporation into the air, a panel under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry agreed Friday after six years of deliberations. It suggested that the first option would be better but stopped short of making a firm recommendation.

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