Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has made public a simulation showing the flow of radioactive wastewater released into the ocean from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. TEPCO says winds and tides will spread the wastewater in an elongated shape along the coastline.
The Japanese government has been looking into ways to dispose of the roughly 1.2 million tons of wastewater accumulated at the plant, which contains approximately 860 trillion becquerels of tritium.
TEPCO’s simulation estimated the area of ocean that would contain more than one becquerel of radioactive materials per litre.
The simulation shows that when water containing 100 trillion becquerels of radioactive materials is released each year, the area would be two kilometres offshore from the plant and stretch 30 kilometres from north to south.
When wastewater with 22 trillion becquerels of radioactive materials is released per year, it would spread 700 metres from shore and stretch three kilometres from north to south.
A government panel said in a report released in February that releasing diluted radioactive water into the sea or air are realistic options. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency expressed some understanding for the plan. But the proposal drew opposition from local fishermen and others.
TEPCO has yet to show its simulation of wastewater released into the air.