Storage tanks for radioactive water are seen at Tokyo Electric Power Company's tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.
Japan will release more than a million metric tons of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea in a decades-long operation, despite strong opposition from local fishermen.
The Nikkei, the Yomiuri and other Japanese media reported Friday that the release of the water, which has been filtered to reduce radioactivity, is likely to start in 2022 at the earliest.
The decision ends years of debate over how to dispose of the liquid that includes water used to cool the nuclear power station that was hit by a massive tsunami in 2011.
A government panel said earlier this year that releasing the contaminated water into the sea or evaporating it were both "realistic options."
While environmental activists strongly oppose the proposals, local fishermen and farmers have voiced fear that consumers will shun seafood and produce from the region.
South Korea, which bans imports of seafood from the area, has also repeatedly voiced concern about the environmental impact.
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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