Toxic Water in Fukushima – level 3

13-09-2019 15:00

In 2011, a disaster struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant when an earthquake and a tsunami caused meltdowns of three of its reactors.

Water which used to keep the reactor cores from melting, leaked and mixed with rain and groundwater.

As reported before, people stored the toxic water in 1,000 large tanks, which hold more than 1 million tons of water. However, even with plans to build even more tanks, room is expected to run out by mid-2022.

Last Tuesday, Japan’s environmental minister said in a press conference that the only option will be to drain the water into the sea. Critics say that this would ruin Fukushima’s fishing and agriculture. Even 8 years after the disaster, 22 countries and regions still have import restrictions for goods from the area around Fukushima.

A number of nuclear scientists say that releasing the water into the ocean is the only realistic option, while a German Greenpeace nuclear specialist says that the only acceptable option is storing the toxic water. Nothing is official yet, and time will show how the Japanese government is going to solve the problem.

Difficult words: meltdown (when the reactor gets too hot, dangerous and out of control), melt (become like water because the metals are too hot), leak (escape, go out, leave the container).

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