In 2011, a major earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami which flooded the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing a major nuclear disaster. Efforts to decontaminate the area and cool down the highly radioactive reactors have resulted in the wastewater being stored in tanks at the plant, but 12 years later, Japan is running out of space and has begun the process of releasing that water into the Pacific Ocean as of yesterday (24 August). 

But this move, which has been planned for years, has been fiercely debated over its safety, even as the International Atomic Energy Agency backed the plan. Here to help us better understand this move, and whether we should be worried about its impact, is Emeritus Prof Dr Ng Kwan Hoong, medical physicist from the Department of Biomedical Imaging at Universiti Malaya. Prof Ng is also a fellow with the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock 

Produced by: Lim Sue Ann

Presented by: Tee Shiao Eek

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