How much wastewater will be released from Fukushima? by Marcelo Duhalde

Since the nuclear accident caused by a powerful earthquake in 2011, Japan has been storing a huge amount of contaminated wastewater in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Now that it almost reaches its full capacity at 1.37 million cubic metres, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco) plans to release the treated wastewater from more than 1,000 of their storage tanks into the Pacific Ocean, which raises some global concerns.

This infographic mainly serves as a summarised visual explainer of their storage situation and discharging plan. Starting with a locator map, we continue with a satellite image of the nuclear site to show the areas of the storage tanks. A giant block of wastewater projected over a city area in Hong Kong is illustrated as the main feature so that the readers can imagine how much water is currently being stored. Choosing a detailed city landscape instead of smaller objects for scale gives a more straightforward visual comparison yet a long-lasting impression.

The discharging process graphic is displayed and simplified based on Tepco’s diagram. Each step is outlined in different colors to connect with their facilities description. We also use an illustrated section about the remaining contaminant, Tritium, to give a proper context of such a peculiar material.

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