Japan's nuclear regulator approves Fukushima operator's plans to descent
The plan was submitted by Tokyo Electric Power CompanyHoldings in December based on last year's government decision to release sewage as a step to clean up and decommission the plant.
Powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011destroyed the cooling systems of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which led to the meltdown of three reactors and the release of large amounts of radiation. The water used to cool the three damaged reactor cores, which remain highly radioactive, has since leaked out but was collected and stored in tanks.
Since then there has been concern aboutpotential threat to human health as a result of leakage of wastewater containing tritium, a by-product of nuclear energy production and a possible carcinogen in high concentrations.
The government claims that more than 60 isotopes,selected for cleaning may be reduced to meet safety standards, with the exception of tritium, but it is safe when diluted. Scientists say long-term environmental and human exposure to low doses is unknown, and that tritium may have a greater human impact when ingesting contaminated fish than in water.
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