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Restrictions lifted on Fukushima fish

TOKYO >> Japan’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters on Feb. 25 lifted the last shipment restriction on fish species caught off Fukushima Prefecture, resulting in all 44 species becoming available for consumers for the first time since the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

Tests involving a limited number of fishing trips have been conducted since June 2012, and discussions on resuming full operations are expected to intensify.

After the nuclear accident, the government restricted the shipment of the 44 kinds of fish caught off the prefecture, which had been found to exceed the legal limit of radioactive cesium.

Since then, the government has lifted the shipping ban in stages as fish species were confirmed to be safe following testing.

Meanwhile, at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, large quantities of treated water are stored in tanks that are expected to reach their limit in summer 2022. (See related article at left below.)

A panel at the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry submitted two proposals to the government on Feb. 10: release the water either into the ocean or into the atmosphere. Fishermen in the prefecture are opposed to the ocean release.

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