TOKYO (AP) - Japan's nuclear regulator on Friday approved details of a planned release of treated radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea next year.
The approval by the Nuclear Regulation Authority will enable Tokyo Electric Power Co. to start building necessary facilities ahead of the discharge. It came two months after a preliminary greenlight and a subsequent public review process.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings submitted the plan in December based on a government decision last year to release the wastewater as a necessary step for the plant's ongoing decommissioning.
A massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi plant's cooling systems, causing triple meltdowns and the release of large amounts of radiation. Water that was used to cool the three damaged reactor cores, which remain highly radioactive, has since leaked into basements of the reactor buildings but was collected and stored in tanks.