How dangerous would this be?
"In the context of the original accident and ground leakage they've had going on for 2.5 years? After a short period of time you probably couldn't even detect it, quite honestly," said Friedlander. "The currents, the background radiation that's already there -- the contaminated water would get diluted out by the vastness of the Pacific." Fisheries around the area have closed as the catch is not fit for consumption.
"But a good responsible nuclear operator would do everything possible to clean that water up to the best technological standards of today -- which is very clean. It's only the residue that technology can't clean up that gets put in the ocean."
How radiation can be removed from the contaminated water?
"With off the shelf technology you can get rid of nearly all radioactivity to below detectable levels," he said. One exception was tritium, which he said, "requires completely different technology that you couldn't deploy on this scale." Aside from that, technology existed to be able to process the water to acceptable levels for release.
What are the options to halt this leakage?
TEPCO has proposed setting up a subterranean barrier around the plant by freezing the ground around it, preventing groundwater from leaking into the damaged plant and carrying radioactive particles with it as it seeps out.
The plan to freeze the ground presents significant technical challenges. It could involve plunging thousands of tubes carrying a powerful coolant liquid deep into the ground surrounding the stricken reactor buildings. The technology has been used before in the construction of tunnels, but never on the massive scale that the Fukushima plant would require.
Will it work?
According to Friedlander, this technology has only really been employed as a temporary solution, during construction projects for example -- but to attempt to use the freezing option as a long-term option would make little sense.
He said the only viable option is to clean the water to a standard where it can be released. "I get it's going to take 40 years to decontaminate those buildings," he said.
"But there has to be a way to figure out where groundwater intrusion is coming from and stop it. There has to be a way of doing that from outside the buildings -- you can't be getting rid of 400 tons of water a day with no end in sight.
"This is nothing more sophisticated than when your basement at home leaks. There's well established technology for dealing with groundwater intrusion in facilities.
"But freezing the ground for 40 years doesn't sound like a sustainable solution."