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TEPCO chief explains water release plan to Fukushima town mayor

Okuma, Fukushima Pref., April 19 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> President Tomoaki Kobayakawa on Monday explained to the mayor of the Fukushima Prefecture town of Okuma the planned release of treated radioactive water from the firm’s crippled nuclear plant in the northeastern Japan prefecture into the sea.


Kobayakawa met with the mayor, Jun Yoshida, at the Okuma town government office. Okuma hosts TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.


TEPCO will release the water, which contains tritium, a radioactive substance, conduct ocean monitoring and pay compensation for possible damage caused by harmful rumors related to the ocean release of the water.


“I’ll take the lead (on the water release project) with a determination to accomplish the reconstruction of Fukushima and the decommissioning of the nuclear plant,” Kobayakawa told Yoshida.


In talks with reporters after the meeting, Yoshida signaled his understanding, saying, “I don’t think TEPCO should proactively release the radioactive water into the sea, but the decision was made while there are limits to the space for tanks for storing the treated water at the site of the nuclear plant.”


The mayor called on TEPCO to disseminate information about the safety of the treated water in a clear and transparent way.


On Tuesday last week, the Japanese government adopted the plan to start releasing the treated water into the sea in about two years. Current technology cannot get rid of tritium from the water although other radioactive substances can be removed.


Fukushima residents are increasingly distrustful of TEPCO in the wake of the recent revelation of a series of nuclear plant security management flaws at the company.

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