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Japan faces backlash over plan to dump radioactive water into ocean

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Japan is set to release more than one million tonnes of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean by the end of August, despite opposition from local fishermen and neighbouring countries.

The water comes from the cooling of the damaged reactors and the groundwater that seeps into the plant site. It has been filtered to remove most of the radioactive elements, except for tritium, a hydrogen isotope that is considered harmless in low concentrations. The IAEA says it may present a radiation hazard if inhaled or ingested but is only harmful to humans in very large doses.

Japan argues that releasing the water is the most feasible option, as the storage tanks at the plant are expected to reach their capacity by 2024.

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