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Warnings on releasing Fukushima’s radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean

Warning over Fukushima nuclear power plant water release, 7 News,  CNN,  Allie Godfrey,  Sunday, 25 October 2020 Contaminated water that could soon be released into the sea from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant contains radioactive carbon with the potential to damage human DNA, environmental rights organisation Greenpeace has warned.

The environmental group claims that the 1.23 million metric tons of water stored at the plant – scene of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster – contains “dangerous” levels of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 and other “hazardous” radionuclides, which it says will have “serious long-term consequences for communities and the environment” if the water is released into the Pacific Ocean.

To cool fuel cores at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has pumped in tens of thousands of tons of water over the years. Once used, the water is put into storage.

But nine years on from Japan’s worst nuclear disaster, storage space is running out, and the government is still deciding what to do with the water.

Authorities, including the country’s environment minister, have indicated the only solution is to release it into the ocean – a plan facing opposition from environmental campaigners and fishing industry representatives.

On Friday, the Japanese government postponed a decision on what to do with the water. ……….“Any radioactive discharge carries some environmental and health risk,” Francis Livens, a professor of radiochemistry at the University of Manchester told CNN, adding that the risk would be relative to how much carbon 14 would be released into the ocean. “An awful lot really does depend on how much is going to be discharged.”

“If it’s (carbon-14) there and it’s there in quantity, yes, there probably is a risk associated with it,” Livens, who is not associated with the Greenpeace study, said. “People have discharged carbon-14 into the sea over many years. It all comes down to how much is there, how much is dispersed, does it enter marine food chains and find its way back to people?”……..

Corkhill told CNN the contaminated water is becoming a pressing concern: If the Japanese government does not deal with the contaminated water, it will have “several millions of cubic meters of water that’s radioactive all sat on the Fukushima site,” she said.

October 26, 2020 - Posted by | Japan, oceans

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