Environmental Considerations to Be Sought for Rapidus Plant

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Rendering of the Rapidus Corp. plant

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Local fishery groups are set to request that environmental considerations be given to a cutting-edge semiconductor plant being built by Rapidus Corp. in Hokkaido out of concerns over a possible impact on wild fish, people familiar with the matter told Jiji Press Monday.

The groups claim that mixing the river water could change the odor components that salmon and trout detect when they return to the river where they were born.

The three groups, including the Hokkaido Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, will ask the prefectural government to assess and monitor the intake and discharge of industrial water at the Rapidus plant in the city of Chitose.

The plant is slated to intake water from the Tomakomai district industrial waterworks sourcing water from the Abira River and discharge wastewater into the Chitose River, where salmons and trout swim upstream to spawn.

They will also ask the prefectural government to instruct Rapidus to reduce the concentration in wastewater of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that are necessary for chip production, as much as possible.

In October last year, the prefectural government decided on the source of water to be used at the Rapidus plant, based on experts’ opinions. The plant is estimated to intake up to 24,000 cubic meters of water per day once it launches full operations in 2027.