Govt. briefs diplomats about treated water release

The Japanese government has spoken to foreign diplomats in Tokyo about the plan to release treated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Representatives from 49 countries and regions took part in an online conference on Tuesday. A diplomat from China was among the participants. Beijing has expressed concerns about the release.

Japanese government officials asked the attendees for their understanding. The officials explained that radioactive tritium, which will remain in the treated water, will be diluted to a level lower than the amount permitted by Japan's national regulations. They added that other measures to ensure safety will be taken.

The officials also told the diplomats that Japan will work together with the International Atomic Energy Agency on related environmental monitoring activities to ensure transparency.

The diplomats asked for detailed information about the ways in which the treated water will be released. They also wanted to know how the Japanese government will share information from now on.

The officials stressed that the government plans to be transparent and provide scrupulous explanations to the international community about the release of the treated water.

The government's decision to release the treated water comes a decade after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, triggering a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Water is used to cool molten nuclear fuel. It mixes with rain and groundwater that flow into damaged reactor buildings, and accumulate at a rate of 140 tons per day.

That water undergoes a treatment process that removes most radioactive material, but it still contains tritium.

After that, the treated water is stored. There are about 1,000 tanks, and they are now 90 percent full. The tanks are expected to be completely full sometime next year.

Before the treated water is released into the sea, it will be diluted. The concentration of tritium will be well below national standards. It will also be about one-seventh of the amount that the World Health Organization says is safe for drinking water.