Government releases data on radioactive material levels off Fukushima coast

The Japanese government has started a website showing radioactive material levels in seawater before the release of treated and diluted water from the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima into the ocean. The release is expected to start around spring or summer.

The environment ministry website shows the density of radioactive tritium at 65 observation points set in the ocean between where the water will be released and areas 85 kilometers off the coastline.

The website also shows the density of tritium and other radioactive materials contained in fish from three areas near the coast.

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to release water that has been used to cool molten nuclear fuel into the ocean after treating it to remove most radioactive materials.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will also dilute the water to lower the density of tritium to under one-fortieth of the level set by the government before discharging the water.

Separating and removing radioactive tritium from water is said to be difficult.

Local fishing industries are voicing concerns over possible reputational damage from the water release.

The environment ministry says the website is aimed at diminishing possible damage and it plans to update data once a week after the water release starts.