IAEA Inspector Backs Pumping Fukushima Groundwater into Ocean

A possible solution to the increasing amount of contaminated water inside the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could be to pump groundwater into the sea before it gets into the reactor buildings, as planned by the plant operator, the head of international inspectors has said.

“It will be very nice if they really get to bypass the main building through these systems — through this direct pumping of the water to the sea or whatever it is. Because it is clean water,” Juan Carlos Lentijo, head of a 13-member team of the International Atomic Energy Agency that inspected the plant last month, told Kyodo News in a recent interview.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has created a system to direct part of the groundwater into the sea before it flows and seeps into the reactor buildings and mixes with highly radioactive water accumulating inside, increasing the amount by 400 tons a day, but has yet to win approval from local fishermen to discharge the water.