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Radioactive water release – Fukushima nuclear disaster continues to haunt the world

Radioactive water: Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster haunts the world a decade later,  Geo News, 7 May 21, ”…. In a recent development, Japan decided to dump radioactive water stored at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

Scores of Pakistani fishermen recently protested this decision of Japan outside the Gawadar Press Club……….

Radioactive water could contaminate fish exports from Pacific ocean

Geo News got in touch with renowned Pakistani physicist Dr AH Nayyar to talk about Japan’s decision.

Dr Nayyar recalled the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster while discussing the Fukushima disaster.

“They could not stop Chernobyl and radioactive clouds once they hovered over Europe from Soviet Union. Radioactivity found its way inside human skin and the world paid the price,” he said, adding that as far as Fukushima is concerned, it will be a first experiment of its own kind.

Dr Nayyar pointed out releasing radioactive water into the ocean could mean that if radioactive elements sit in marine life, it will soar chances of it infiltrating into humans via catchments and exports. “When radioactive particles decay, they cause cancer in the human body,” he said.

“People were skeptical in buying fresh milk and powder imported from Europe post 1986 Chernobyl disaster. It could be the same with fish coming from the Pacific ocean. They will have to be carefully examined if they carry radioactive particles. However, waters from the Pacific Ocean will not intrude into the Arabian Sea,” Dr Nayyar concluded……….

Currently, it is stored in gigantic water tanks, but the plant’s operator, Tepco, appraised that these tanks are expected to fill up by 2022.

The water is contaminated as it comes in contact with fuel before leaking into damaged basements and tunnels, where it mixes with groundwater that flows through the site from hills above. The combination results in excess contaminated water that is pumped out and treated before being stored in huge tanks crowding the site. 

About 1.3 million tonnes of radioactive water – or enough to fill 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools – are currently stored in these tanks, In 2018, Tepco admitted it had not filtered all dangerous materials out of the water, despite saying for years they had been removed, according to a Reuters report.

Unacceptable and irresponsible, say China, South Korea to Japan

In a statement, China’s foreign ministry called the move “extremely irresponsible” and said it reserved the right to take further action.

South Korea’s government said the plan was “totally unacceptable” and that it would lodge a formal complaint with Japan.

Voices are rising within Japan as well. Greenpeace Japan said it “strongly condemned” the decision.

“The Japanese government has once again failed the people of Fukushima,” Kazue Suzuki, a climate change and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Japan, said in a statement. “The government has taken the wholly unjustified decision to deliberately contaminate the Pacific Ocean with radioactive wastes. Rather than using the best available technology to minimize radiation hazards by storing and processing the water over the longer term, they have opted for the cheapest option.”


May 8, 2021 - Posted by | Japan, oceans

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