Fukushima operator says released water samples within safe limits

The start on Thursday of some of the 1.34 million tons of water captured on site in the 12 years since the factory was flooded by a tsunami prompted China to ban all Japanese seafood imports.

TEPCO conducted so-called rapid tests on Thursday afternoon after the release began in the Pacific, and on Friday it said the results showed radioactivity levels were within safe limits.

“We have confirmed that the analyzed value is equal to the calculated concentration and that the analyzed value is less than 1,500 bq/l,” TEPCO spokesman Keisuke Matsuo told a news conference.

Becquerels per liter is a measure of radioactivity. The national safety standard is 60,000.

The results were “similar to our previous simulation and well below” the safety limit, Matsuo added.

“We will continue to perform analytics every day for the next month and continue our analytics efforts even beyond that,” he said.

“By providing quick, easy-to-understand explanations, we hope to address several concerns.”

Japan’s environment ministry said it had collected seawater samples from 11 different locations on Friday, the results of which would be released on Sunday.

The Fisheries Agency also collected a flounder and gurnard fish from designated sampling sites near the pipe that released the Fukushima water on Friday.

“By publishing this data every day in a very transparent manner, we will demonstrate our actions based on scientific evidence,” said Commerce and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of nuclear policy.

IAEA support

TEPCO says the water — worth more than 500 Olympic swimming pools — from cooling the remains of three reactors is filtered of all radioactive elements except tritium and is safe.

This is supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which said on Thursday that samples taken from the first batch of diluted water prepared for discharge showed tritium levels were well within safe limits.

“IAEA experts are on site to serve as the eyes of the international community and ensure that the discharge is carried out as planned, in accordance with IAEA safety standards,” the UN body’s head, Rafael Grossi, said in a statement. a statement.

Most analysts agree, although environmental group Greenpeace has said the filtration process, known as ALPS, is not working and will release a huge amount of radioactivity into the ocean.

The Japanese action enraged China, which says the move pollutes the ocean, and extended the ban on water products for 10 Japanese prefectures to the entire country.

Nishimura echoed Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday when he urged China, Japan’s largest seafood market, to reverse the ban.

“The Japanese government… will forcefully demand that baseless regulation be ended immediately,” Nishimura said.

The South Korean government, which is trying to improve relations with Japan to counter China, has approved the release of water, although some ordinary people are worried.

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