UN watchdog approves plan for Fukushima water release

A UN watchdog has said that Japan’s plan to release waste water from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea complies with international standards.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says the release will have a “negligible” impact on the environment.

The findings come as Tokyo’s plan is opposed by Beijing and Seoul.

The Fukushima facility is running out of storage space for the water, which was used to cool nuclear reactors.

Japan has not announced a schedule for the release and the plan still needs final approval from a regulator.

In 2011, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake flooded three reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It is regarded as the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

More than 150,000 people were evacuated from an exclusion zone around the plant, which remains in place. The clean-up has cost the Japanese government trillions of yen and could last for 40 years.

Decommissioning of the plant has also started, but the process could take decades.

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