Aerial view of the Fukushima I plant area

Japanese plan to discharge Fukushima contaminated water into the sea approved

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) endorsed on Tuesday the Japanese government’s plan to discharge treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea and said that the measures taken by the Asian country are “consistent with relevant international safety standards”.

Japan plans to discharge treated Fukushima water into the sea in spring or summer

The comprehensive assessment of the IAEA, an agency belonging to the United Nations system, was released after two years of investigations (the plan was approved in April 2021) and has been formed by experts from eleven countries. In this report they also point out that the discharges will be “gradual and controlled” and that they will have a “negligible” radiological impact on people and the environment.

The publication of the document comes as the Japanese government is finalizing preparations to dump tons of contaminated and purified water into the Pacific this summer, a controversial measure that has sparked criticism from the local population and neighboring countries.

The agency’s Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said that the report issued “represents an important milestone in the IAEA’s review”, but assured that they are continuing their work and will continue “to provide transparency to the international community, making it possible for all parties to rely on verified data and science”.

Local Japanese fishermen are also among those who are concerned about the approval of this plan: they fear a possible negative impact on the reputation of their products. Since the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, the Japanese fishing industry has been suffering from the mistrust of many consumers because of the health implications that radioactivity off the coast of Fukushima could have on the fish caught.

China on Tuesday urged Japan to halt its plan to process and dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, and accused the country of “forcing a plan that has raised multiple concerns in the international community.”

On the other hand, South Korea has been another of the most skeptical about the Japanese plan. In fact, in May this year it sent a team of 21 experts to inspect the Fukushima plant in the framework of the proposal to release its contaminated water into the ocean.

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Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, expressed his calm in the face of all the messages of mistrust raised by the plan. “We will not allow a water spill that could affect the health of Japanese people or people around the world and the environment,” he said during a press conference.

-Thailand News (TN)


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