The water had served to cool nuclear fuel in the crippled reactors, Kyodo news agency reported. The water was desalinated and passed through reverse osmosis (to remove caesium) and has been treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS. That allows for 62 types of nucleides to be removed – with the exception of tritium – a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.
About 1.25 million tonnes of purified water – from March 2013 when the ALPS system began operating at the plant – has been stored in reservoirs, which will reach capacity in 2022.
The decision to discharge the winter is linked to the fact that capacity has been exhausted – a decision supported by Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“Today’s decision by the Government of Japan is a milestone that will help pave the way for continued progress in the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,” Grossi said in a statement issued by the IAEA. “The Japanese Government’s decision is in line with practice globally, even though the large amount of water at the Fukushima plant makes it a unique and complex case.”