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Politics

Why the decision to release treated Fukushima water took a decade

Distrust of TEPCO and government hindered plans for scientifically safe discharge

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Photo by Yuki Nakao) 

TOKYO -- Japan's cabinet and government officials on Tuesday decided to release treated wastewater into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at a meeting to discuss the decommissioning of the crippled facility.

Experts have deemed that the water that contains tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, is scientifically safe. While other nuclear plants in Japan and elsewhere release the same kind of water into the sea, it took ten years to make the decision after the meltdown triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011.

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