Fukushima: Japan approves releasing wastewater into ocean. Japan has approved a plan to release more than one million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The water will be treated and diluted so radiation levels are below those set for drinking water. But the local fishing industry has strongly opposed the move, as have China and South Korea. Tokyo says work to release water used to cool nuclear fuel will begin in about two years. The final approval comes after years of debate and is expected to take decades to complete.
BBC 13th March 2021 read more »
Japan announces it will release treated radioactive water from Fukushima nuclear plant into sea. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met members of his Cabinet including industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama to formalise the decision on Tuesday, despite concerns from China.
South China Morning Post 13th April 2021 read more »
The government decided Tuesday to release treated radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the sea, having assessed there will be no negative impact on human health or the environment despite concerns from local fishermen and neighboring countries. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met with members of his Cabinet, including industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama, to formalize the decision, which comes a decade after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown in March 2011. Water pumped into the ruined reactors at the Fukushima plant to cool the melted fuel, mixed with rain and groundwater that has also been contaminated, is treated using an advanced liquid processing system called ALPS. The process removes most radioactive materials including strontium and cesium but leaves behind tritium, which poses little risk to human health in low concentration. The treated water is being stored in tanks on the plant’s premises — more than 1.25 million tons.
Japan Times 13th April 2021 read more »
The following are questions and answers on the Japanese government’s plan to release treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the sea.
Mainichi 13th April 2021 read more »
The Japanese government’s decision to discharge Fukushima contaminated water ignores human rights and international maritime law. Greenpeace Japan strongly condemns the decision of the of Prime Minister Suga’s cabinet to dispose of over 1.23 million tons of radioactive waste water stored in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean.This completely disregards the human rights and interests of the people in Fukushima, wider Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. The decision means that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) can begin radioactive waste discharges from its nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. It has been said it would take 2 years to prepare for the discharge. Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director at Greenpeace International, said: “In the 21st century, when the planet and in particular the world’s oceans are facing so many challenges and threats, it is an outrage that the Japanese government and TEPCO think they can justify the deliberate dumping of nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean. The decision is a violation of Japan’s legal obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, (UNCLOS), and will be strongly resisted over the coming months.” Since 2012, Greenpeace has proactively campaigned against plans to discharge Fukushima contaminated water – submitting technical analysis to UN agencies, holding seminars with local residents of Fukushima with other NGOs, and petitioning against the discharges and submitted to relevant Japanese government bodies. Furthermore, a recent Greenpeace Japan report detailed alternatives to the current flawed decommissioning plans for Fukushima Daiichi, including options to stop the continued increase of contaminated water. Greenpeace will continue to lead the campaign to stop radioactive waste water from being discharged into the Pacific.
Greenpeace 13th April 2021 read more »
Everything you need to know about the plan to release treated Fukushima water. The Alps process removes most of the radioactive isotopes to levels below international safety guidelines for nuclear plant waste water. But it cannot remove some, including tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that experts say is only harmful to humans in very large doses. The half-life of tritium – the time needed for one half the atoms of a radioactive isotope to decay – is 12.3 years. In humans, it has an estimated biological half-life of seven to 10 days. Environmental groups like Greenpeace, which opposes nuclear power, say radioactive materials like carbon-14 that remain in the water can “be easily concentrated in the food chain”. They allege that accumulated doses over time could damage DNA, and want to see the water stored until technology is developed to improve filtration. Local fishing communities worry that years of work to convince consumers that Fukushima’s seafood is safe will be wiped out by the release.
Guardian 13th April 2021 read more »
China brands Japan’s plan to release treated Fukushima water into sea as ‘extremely irresponsible’. China and South Korea voice fears over the move, while the government says the water has been processed and will be diluted. Japan’s government has approved a plan to release over one million tonnes of treated water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday. The release is unlikely to begin for at least two years but has already sparked opposition from local fishing communities and concern in Beijing and Seoul. Japan’s government argues that the release will be safe because the water has been processed to remove almost all radioactive elements and will be diluted. It has support from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which says the release is similar to processes for disposing of waste water from nuclear plants elsewhere in the world.
Telegraph 13th April 2021 read more »
In theory, filtering can remove all the radioactive elements except for tritium, which is routinely released into the sea in diluted form from nuclear plants around the world. But trace elements of more dangerous radioactive substances, including strontium-90 and iodine-129, have also been detected in the water.
Times 13th April 2021 read more »