Nuclear regulator to audit water treatment process

Japan's nuclear regulator has decided on Wednesday to publicly disclose its audit on the capabilities and soundness of the facility to be built for diluting treated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant before releasing it into the ocean.

This follows the government's decision on Tuesday to approve the release of the treated water from the plant.

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

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

Before it is released into the sea, it will be diluted so the tritium concentration is well below national standards.

The government has instructed the plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, to secure the equipment it needs to begin the release in about two years.

On Wednesday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority decided that it will also publicly disclose its audit of how TEPCO will check the concentration of tritium.

It discussed monitoring the ocean after treated water has been released. A board that includes the Environment Ministry, other relevant ministries, Fukushima Prefecture, and the NRA is expected to monitor the ocean.

The NRA plans to strengthen checks for tritium.
It will also seek advice from the International Atomic Energy Agency on assessing the water treatment facility and monitoring its results.