Dale Klein, a senior adviser to the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant told reporters that controlled release of contaminated water into sea is much safer than keeping it on-site.
“Storing massive amounts of water on-site is not sustainable. A controlled release is much safer than keeping the water on-site,” Klein said on Tuesday.
The remarks come as Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) is struggling to get rid of hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated water that has crippled the cleanup process.
Klein also said TEPCO has yet to reassure the public over the handling of water leaks.
“TEPCO is making progress on water management but I’m not satisfied yet. It’s frustrating that the company takes four or five steps forward, then two back. And every time you have a leakage it contributes to a lack of trust. There’s room for improvement on all fronts.”
This comes three years after a devastating earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant’s power and cooling systems, triggering multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi. The contaminated water has leaked repeatedly from storage tanks ever since.
Experts say the cleanup process at the site is expected to take decades.
This incident was the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
The natural disaster killed 15,884 people and left 2,636 people still unaccounted for.
A report released by a Japanese parliamentary panel later said the incident at the Fukushima nuclear plant was not only due to the tsunami, but also a “man-made disaster.”
The report criticized the “government, regulatory authorities and Tokyo Electric Power Company” for being devoid of “a sense of responsibility to protect people’s lives and society.”