How safe is this water? Japan argues that the release of the waste water is safe as it is processed to remove almost all radioactive elements and will be greatly diluted. The plan has the backing of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which says the release is similar to the disposal of waste water at other plants around the world. "Releasing into the ocean is done elsewhere. It's not something new. There is no scandal here," IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in 2021. Currently, the radioactive water is treated in a complex filtration process that removes most of the radioactive elements, but some remain, including tritium - deemed harmful to humans only in very large doses.