The Japanese government announced on April 13th that it will release Fukushima nuclear power plant’s water into the sea after it has undergone treatment to reduce radioactivity, which is harmful for the environment and humans. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s project, which is expected to last two years, however, has been criticized by fishermen, environmentalists, and neighboring countries.

The Fukushima nuclear plant began to use a lot of water to cool its reactors, when they overheated on March 11th, 2011 because of the tsunami. Ten years ago, an intense earthquake created giant waves that crashed on the plant and caused explosions. More than 160,000 people had to flee the area because of the radiation released by one of the worst nuclear accidents in history. More than 40,000 people remain homeless and 18,428 are dead or missing because of the disaster.

Approximately 1.25 million tons of contaminated water is currently stored in over 1,000 reservoirs close to the power plant. This amount is equivalent in weight to 208,000 elephants. It is expected that the onsite storage limit will be reached in 2022. The solution for this problem has been discussed for seven years.


According to the Japanese government, the water that will be released into the sea has been filtered to remove most radioactive substances. However, filtration does not remove a radioactive substance called tritium. According to experts consulted by the government, tritium is only harmful to human health in large quantities.

The risk of water contamination causes concern among fishermen, farmers, environmentalists, and the countries that neighbor Japan, such as China and South Korea. Workers are afraid that the sale of their products will drop. Greenpeace, the environmental protection organization, asks that the water be stored until technology that completely decontaminates it has been developed.


Nuclear plant:  it produces electrical energy from radioactive substances, such as uranium.


1) Which of the alternatives below is true?

a) The water disposal operation will take ten years.

b) Environmentalists believe that this is the best way to eliminate radioactive water.

c) Fishermen fear that releasing plant water into the sea will affect the image of their products

d) China and South Korea have promised to help the neighboring country in its operation.

2) What else do you know about nuclear power plants?

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