MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – Japanese utility TEPCO, the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, plans to dig an offshore tunnel to dump treated radioactive water farther into the ocean, media reported on Tuesday.
The energy giant plans to hollow out a 1 kilometer (1,000 yard) long stretch of bedrock in the waters east of the power plant leading to an area where no fishing occurs, the Japanese Kyodo news agency cited its sources as saying.
TEPCO needs the approval of the national nuclear regular before the work begins. It hopes to start preparations this year and dig the tunnel in 2022, before the planned water release begins in spring 2023.
More than a million tonnes of radioactive water treated with multi-nuclide removal equipment will be discharged into the ocean. Fishers fear this will undermine sales of their catch. TEPCO has promised to compensate local businesses for any reputational damage.