Japan to resume effort to tackle contaminated water problem at Fukushima

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Nuclear plant

(Reuters) – Japan is resuming efforts to disperse a build-up of contaminated water at Tokyo Electric Power’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant that is stalling progress on cleaning up the site, the government said on Thursday.

A panel of experts will meet on Friday for the first time in eight months to consider options to get rid of the water, Japan’s government said in briefing documents it released. 

The panel will consider strategies such as evaporation of the water and injection deep underground, in addition to a recommendation by Japan’s nuclear regulator to release the treated water into the ocean, a more conventional technique. 

Regular meetings of the panel had stopped nearly three months after Tokyo Electric (Tepco) admitted it had not managed to completely remove potentially dangerous radioactive particles from treated water held in tanks.

In 2016, the Japanese government estimated that the total cost of plant dismantling, decontamination of affected areas, and compensation, would be 21.5 trillion yen ($203 billion), or about a fifth of the country’s annual budget.

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