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Fukushima waste water dumped in Pacific Ocean – a critical environmental issue threatening marine pollution

Is Japan’s Nuclear Wastewater Dumping Reckless?  THE ASEAN POST, Anna Malindog-Uy6 June 2021

 it is important to speak about one of the most critical environmental issues that might cause marine pollution in the Pacific Ocean and beyond soon. 

It can be recalled that a few months back, Japan alarmingly announced that it will release around 1.25 million tons of contaminated water or wastewater from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. These 1.25 million tons of wastewater can fill up around 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. 

What’s pretty disquieting is the fact that, thus far, there has never been any precedent in the world or actual practice of discharging such a huge volume of wastewater into the sea. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), though not opposed to Japan’s decision, has no relevant experience in this regard. 

Accordingly, it will be hard to assess the long-term effects of such dumping of radioactive waste into the sea. Likewise, according to some reports, no independent testing of the water will be allowed as previously promised.  ………

Perplexing

But one perplexing thing about all this is the fact that the United States (US) seems to be in agreement with this decision. In a tweet, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said “We thank Japan for its transparent efforts in its decision to dispose of the treated water.” This is a bit idiosyncratic and out of the ordinary given that the US continues to ban the import of farm and seafood products from the Fukushima region just like some other countries, precisely because of fears that these marine and agricultural products are contaminated with radioactive materials.,……….

Protests

Nevertheless, countries in East Asia like South Korea, China, and even Taiwan are protesting against Japan’s unilateral decision to dump radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean. This is because it will be hazardous to marine ecosystems and resources, and will affect the fishing industries of these countries. ……….

Roque, an expert on international law said that “I can only repeat the principles of International Environmental Law that I hope all countries will comply with. The first principle is we are one ecosystem. The second principle is that we are interconnected and the third principle is that the polluter must pay.”……….

 it’s not only neighbouring countries that have expressed their opposition and resistance to the plan of dumping wastewater into the sea. Even the Japanese people themselves are opposed to it. 

For instance, the local fisherfolks of Fukushima have publicly announced their opposition to the plan saying, “…the said plan will undo the years of work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was destroyed and ruined by the huge tsunami in March 2011.” 

In a Yahoo Japan survey, 41.5 percent of the 31,035 respondents disagreed with the government’s plan. 

Conclusion

The unilateral plan of the Japanese government to dump wastewater in the Pacific Ocean needs to be reconsidered and studied further. Japan should at least show the necessary courtesy to consult and discuss its decision with its immediate neighbours like South Korea, China, Taiwan, and even beyond East Asia given the seriousness of the matter. 

It should be noted that the bodies of water in Asia are very much connected and pollutants originating from the Fukushima water will no doubt reach other nearby areas, affecting local marine and the coastal environments and people’s health. Thus, as a responsible member of the community of nations, Japan should think twice before proceeding with its plan and prudently consult with countries that will directly be affected by such a decision.

However, Japan being a privileged country may not heed the call of its neighbours probably because it has the backing of the US. But if something goes wrong with the said plan, developing countries like the Philippines will surely be adversely affected and left on their own to suffer the negative consequences.  ……

It is also quite shocking that the international media and even the mainstream media in the Philippines is downplaying this issue which is of great importance. 

Another baffling issue is why has the IAEA sanctioned Japan’s decision when not much study has been done yet on the effects of dumping such a huge volume of radioactive wastewater into the sea. ……..https://theaseanpost.com/article/japans-nuclear-wastewater-dumping-reckless

June 7, 2021 - Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans

1 Comment »

  1. […] Fukushima waste water dumped in Pacific Ocean – a critical environmental issue threatening marine … […]

    Pingback by Fukushima waste water dumped in Pacific Ocean – a critical environmental issue threatening marine pollution – Honiarastuff | June 8, 2021 | Reply


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