TOKYO, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada on Tuesday said that dumping wastewater contaminated with radioactive tritium at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean may be the only option to deal with the buildup of contaminated water at the plant.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Harada said there were no apparent options other than releasing the radioactive water into the sea to dilute it.
"Although I'm not the minister in charge, I believe there's no choice but to dump the water into the ocean and dilute it," Harada said.
Local residents and the international community have voiced their alarm at the possible decision, despite Japan's Nuclear Regulation Agency maintaining that it is scientifically acceptable to release radioactive water into the sea to dilute it, if the level of radiation is below environmental standards.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), the operator of the stricken Fukushima plant, has said that by the summer of 2022, tanks storing the contaminated water will be full.
Harada said that any decisions would not be made lightly owing to the gravity of the situation and that the government would first have to explain the safety measures and scientific reasoning to the people in Japan as well as concerned citizens overseas.