Fukushima Begins Controversial Radioactive Wastewater Release

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s operator says it began releasing its first batch of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean Thursday – something that prompted China to ban seafood from Japan. Via CBS News:

In a live video from a control room at the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings showed a staff member turn on a seawater pump with a click of a mouse, marking the beginning of the controversial project that’s expected to last for decades. “Seawater Pump A activated,” the main operator said, confirming the release was underway.

TEPCO later confirmed that the seawater pump was activated at 1:03 p.m. local time (12:03 a.m. EDT), three minutes after the final step began. TEPCO said an additional wastewater release pump was activated 20 minutes after the first. Plant officials said everything was moving smoothly so far.

Japanese fishing groups have opposed the plan, fearing it will do further damage to the reputation of their seafood. Groups in China and South Korea have also raised concerns, making it a political and diplomatic issue.

Pay attention, because as we move toward climate change mitigation, the U.S. will look at adding more nuclear power. Please note that the Fukushima disaster was a result of poor design and short cuts made to save money. The only way I would trust private enterprise to build nuclear power plants would be if they built housing on site and required the executives to live there with their families. (And even then, who knows?)

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