Tepco to meet fishermen’s groups on Fukushima water bypass plan

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) will attempt to persuade fishermen to agree on a plan to reroute water away from the Fukushima atomic station and into the ocean to reduce the buildup of radiated water around the plant.

The bypass pipe aims to siphon off some of the water seeping into the plant from surrounding hillsides, where it’s being contaminated by radiation leaks from three melted reactors. At least 300 tons of radiated water a day is pouring into the Pacific Ocean, the government said last week.

Fishermen’s groups have been suspicious of the plan, which Tepco has said will only carry clean mountain water. In August last year, the utility found record levels of radioactive cesium in fish it caught for tests within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the coast from the nuclear plant.

Officials from the utility will meet with members of four fishermen’s groups between Aug. 20 and Aug. 28, Mayumi Yoshida, a spokeswoman for the company known as Tepco, said today in a phone interview. She didn’t know the identities of the Tepco officials who’ll participate.

A call to the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations seeking comment wasn’t answered.