Japan to dump contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear station into sea

Japan to dump contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear station into sea”

On, a foreign ministry spokesman in South Korea, which maintains restrictions on Japanese produce, said it "expresses serious concerns that the decision could bring a direct and indirect impact on the safety of our people and surrounding environment".

The first water release is not expected for about two years, time Tepco will use to begin filtering the water, building infrastructure and acquiring regulatory approval.

An aerial photograph of Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant reactors, from bottom at right, Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3, in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. It was the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The process, however, can not remove tritium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear reactors.

Last year, a Japanese government panel considered two options of dealing with Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant contaminated water - to dump it into the ocean or evaporate it into the atmosphere. Around 1.25 million tons of radioactive water has accumulated so far, and around 170 additional tons build up every day.

Koo made the remark at the outset of an emergency meeting of related ministries held to discuss responses to the Japanese decision.

Fishing unions in Fukushima urged the government for years not to release the water, arguing it would undo work to restore the damaged reputation of their fisheries.

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The water needs to be filtered again to remove harmful isotopes and will be diluted to meet global standards before any release. The steady release of even a small amount of radioactive material will have a lasting effect on marine life. "The government will also strengthen inspection of all fisheries imports, including those from Japan".

The US State Department, however, said Japan had been "transparent about its decision, and appears to have adopted an approach in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards".

Beijing said the ocean was the "common property of mankind" and the disposal of the nuclear waste water "is not just Japan's domestic issue".

"The cabinet's decision failed to protect the environment and neglected the large-scale opposition and concerns of the local Fukushima residents, as well as the neighbouring citizens around Japan", said climate and energy campaigner Kazue Suzuki in a statement.

The United Nations had warned the Japanese government in June 2020 and again this past March to delay any decision on discharging the radioactive water into the sea until the COVID-19 pandemic is over and appropriate global discussions are held.

The activist groups are also calling on the South Korean government to take strong countermeasures, including filing a complaint with the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, and increase pressure on Japan in solidarity with international civic organizations.

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