Plan to discharge Fukushima radioactive waste water into Pacific Ocean cancelled

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      A plan to release radioactive waste water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean has been cancelled, according to reports. 

      Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had made a decision to release tritium-tainted water, which was injected to cool the damaged reactors in Fukushima, into the Pacific Ocean. 

      Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. The health risks of diluted tritium-laced water has been debated in the scientific community, with some scientists stating that it can be safely released and is of little danger unless ingested in large amounts while others argue it remains a health hazard.

      Local fishermen opposed the decision, fearing that negative publicity would impact their livelihoods. 

      The plan to release the water required the approval of the Japanese government.

      After disaster-reconstruction minister Masayoshi Yoshino also warned the decision would create challenges for Fukushima fishermen struggling to reestablish themselves, the Japan Times  reported on July 15 that TEPCO reversed its decision to discharge the water into the ocean.

      A Japanese government panel is still facing the task of figuring out what to do with approximately 580 barrels containing 777,000 tons of tainted water stored at the nuclear facility where three reactor cores melted after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.