Japan sees no issues in radioactive water discharge — Analysis

Residents protested against a plan to let radioactive water flow into the ocean.

Japanese officials are close to agreement regarding plans for radioactive waste water discharge from Fukushima’s defunct nuclear plant. The move comes more than a decade since Fukushima suffered major contamination due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. 

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) declared that there were no outstanding concerns with the proposal following a meeting on Friday, hoping to have a draft inspection document prepared as early as next month, Japan’s NHK reported. There are “no issues left that have not been discussed enough,”According to reports, the official of NRA said.

After radiation removal, water from Fukushima Daiichi’s Fukushima Daiichi will be released to the sea. Though the waste water will still contain tritium – a radioactive isotope of hydrogen – authorities promise it will be diluted to levels in line with Japanese regulations. By next spring, the government plans to start on this initiative.

Earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima

In 2011, the nuclear facility was hit by three major meltdowns. This is the third such accident, following natural disasters. Large quantities of contaminated water flowed into the Pacific as a result, prompting mass evacuations from areas along Japan’s east coast. 

Protests broke out in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture this week, citing concerns that the water might be dangerous to wildlife and residents.

“Once the nuclear-contaminated water is discharged into the sea, the result is irreversible. Fukushima’s fate isn’t unique. The ocean links the entire world. We hope we don’t discharge toxic substances into the sea,”One protestor was quoted in Chinese media as saying:

South Korean activists and others in the region opposed the plan. The Chinese government expressed similar concern about the pollution. 

“We cannot afford the potential harm on marine ecology, food safety and human health caused by the sea discharge of the nuclear-contaminated water,”Zhao Lijian (Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson) spoke to reporters earlier in the week.

“We urge Japan to adopt a responsible attitude and look for proper means of disposal through full consultation with stakeholders including neighboring countries and relevant international organizations,”He continued.

The plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, first submitted an application for how to deal with the contaminated water in December 2021, with 13 meetings held with the NRA in the time since to hammer out details. They also talked about how to handle natural earthquakes or tsunamis in the future and what the radiation could do to the surrounding environment and populations.

Fukushima water will be checked by nuclear watchdog

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