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Radioactive water

Japan to start Fukushima water release as early as late August

Japan to start Fukushima water release as early as late August
Journalists visit Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, 21 July 2023, to get hint when the TEPCO and Japanese government will start to release the radioactive water treated by the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) this summer. The nuclear power plant is located in tsunami-devastated towns of Okuma and Futaba. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA / POOL

TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Japan plans to start releasing treated radioactive water from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean as early as late August, Japan's Asahi Shimbun daily reported on Monday, citing unidentified government sources.

The release will most likely come shortly after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets with U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in the United States next week and explains to them how the water release will be safe, it said.

No specific date to discharge the water has been decided, top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters during a briefing.

Japan’s nuclear regulator last month granted approval for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power 9501.T to start releasing the water, which Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency say is safe but nearby countries fear it may contaminate food.

Bottom-trawling fishing is scheduled to start off Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo, in September, and the government aims to start the water discharge before the fishing season gets under way, the newspaper said.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Additional reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; editing by Diane Craft and Gerry Doyle)

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