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Fukushima water to be released into ocean in next few months, says Japan

Guardian, Justin McCurry in Tokyo, 13 Jan 23,Authorities to begin release of a million tonnes of water from stricken nuclear plant after treatment to remove most radioactive material

The controversial release of more than a million tonnes of water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will begin in the northern spring or summer, Japan’s government has said – a move that has sparked anger among local fishing communities and countries in the region.

The decision comes more than two years after the government approved the release of the water, which will be treated to remove most radioactive materials but will still contain tritium, a naturally occurring radioactive form of hydrogen that is technically difficult to separate from water.

Japanese officials insist the “treated” water will not pose a threat to human health or the marine environment, but the plans face opposition from fishermen who say it risks destroying their livelihoods, almost 12 years after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake triggered a huge tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people along Japan’s north-east coast…………………………………….

South Korea and China have voiced concern about the discharge, while the Pacific Islands Forum said recently it had “grave concerns” about the proposed release.

Writing in the Guardian, the forum’s secretary general, Henry Puna, said Japan “should hold off on any such release until we are certain about the implications of this proposal on the environment and on human health, especially recognising that the majority of our Pacific peoples are coastal peoples, and that the ocean continues to be an integral part of their subsistence living”.

The South Korean government, which has yet to lift its ban on Fukushima seafood, has said that releasing the water would pose a “grave threat” to marine life. Fishing unions in the area oppose the release, warning it would cause alarm among consumers and derail more than a decade of efforts to reassure the public that Fukushima seafood is safe to eat…………… more https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/13/fukushima-water-to-be-released-into-ocean-in-next-few-months-says-japan

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January 15, 2023 - Posted by | Fukushima continuing

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