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Increasing heat could turn ocean plankton microbes into carbon emitters

Warming climate could turn ocean plankton microbes into carbon emitters.
New research finds that a warming climate could flip globally abundant
microbial communities from carbon sinks to carbon emitters, potentially
triggering climate change tipping points. The findings are published in
Functional Ecology. 1st June 2023


June 5, 2023 Posted by | climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Finland’s newest nuclear plant is warming the sea, harming wildlife

yle 1 June 23

The Olkiluoto 3 reactor became fully operational in April after a decade-long delay.

“……… climate groups have pointed to a number of adverse effects the largest reactor in the Nordic region will have on its surrounding environment, including the warming of the seawater used to cool the plant and its effects on marine life.

Olkiluoto 3 is by far the largest of the three reactors located at Eurajoki and its operations will almost double the amount of water required to cool the plants.

In total, the three reactors need around 120-130 cubic metres of cooling water per second. This is more than half the average flow of the nearby Kokemäenjoki river, and Olkiluoto 3 accounts for about 57 cubic metres of this volume.

Court orders investigation

The seawater used to cool the nuclear power plant will also inevitably contain fish and other marine organisms.

Finland’s Administrative Court ordered an investigation to be carried out into the effects of Olkiluoto 3 on the local marine life when regular electricity production began in April…………………………………………………………………………………………

June 4, 2023 Posted by | Finland, oceans | Leave a comment

Tritium found beyond safe limits in treated Fukushima wastewater

 A type of radioactive isotope in the over 1.3 million tons of wastewater
being collected at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant and planned
for discharge by as early as this summer has been found at levels beyond
those earlier suggested to be safe by the Japanese government, a wastewater
safety review report by the International Atomic Energy Agency showed

According to the report, which corroborated analyses of the treated wastewater by six laboratories including the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, the activity concentrations of tritium in the treated water were estimated to be at least 148,900 becquerels per liter.

The wastewater filtered through Japan’s Advanced Liquid Processing System at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station contained more tritium than what was stipulated in Japan’s national regulatory standards for discharge, 60,000 becquerels per liter……………………………………………

 Korea Herald 1st June 2023

June 4, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans, radiation, wastes | Leave a comment

South Korea experts say more study needed on Japan’s nuclear water plan

Yahoo! News, Hyonhee Shin, Wed, 31 May 2023 

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean nuclear safety experts who visited Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Wednesday that detailed analysis was needed to verify Japan’s plan to release tonnes of contaminated water from it into the sea…………

Japan plans to dump more than one million tonnes of contaminated water that was mainly used to cool the reactors into the sea by around this summer, triggering alarm at home and abroad, especially in fishing communities.

“Given our closest location, we are reviewing whether Japan has an appropriate discharge plan from a scientific and technological standpoint,” Yoo Guk-hee, chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, who led a delegation on a site visit last week, told a briefing.

……….. The 21-member South Korean team had focused during its six-day trip on water purification, transport and release equipment, as well as sampling and analysis facilities.

The visit came days after President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a summit in Seoul this month amid a thaw in relations following years of tension between the neighbours, both important U.S. allies…………

June 2, 2023 Posted by | oceans, South Korea | Leave a comment

China firmly opposes Japan’s discharge of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into sea

Source: Xinhua, Editor: huaxia, 2023-05-30

GENEVA, May 28 (Xinhua) — A Chinese delegate on Saturday expressed firm opposition to Japan’s unilateral decision to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima into the sea, when attending related discussions at the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) held here.

Given the strong currents along Fukushima’s coast, the radionuclides will spread to waters worldwide in 10 years after a discharge, the delegate said, adding that this move is to shift the risks to all mankind, and is not Japan’s private matter, but a crucial issue affecting global public health.

Noting many countries and stakeholders have expressed serious concerns, the delegate urged Japan not to unilaterally discharge the nuclear-contaminated water before reaching an agreement with all parties.

In response to a Japanese delegate’s defense, the Chinese side said that the defense can be summed up as “the water quality is non-toxic and the discharge is reasonable,” but what the Japanese side said is completely untenable and they must give convincing answers to a series of questions.

The Chinese delegate raised three questions: First, if the nuclear-contaminated water is safe, why doesn’t Japan itself use the water? Why not use the water for domestic agriculture and manufacturing, or discharge it into domestic lakes? Second, is discharging the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea the only feasible solution? Third, what kind of long-term impact will such a discharge have on the world?

When it comes to the disposal of the nuclear-contaminated water, the Chinese delegate pointed out that Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has proposed five plans. The Japanese government’s expert committee has admitted that compared to such options as emitting the water into the atmosphere through vaporization, building new storage tanks and solidifying the water with cement, a discharge into the sea is the cheapest option with minimum risk of pollution to Japan itself.

Japan’s current choice is to save itself trouble and money by pushing the world to suffer consequences, the delegate said, emphasizing that such actions, which only serve the short-term interests of Japan but harm the common interests of all mankind, must be severely condemned and resolutely resisted, and that the Pacific Ocean is not a sewer into which Japan can dump nuclear-contaminated water.

In April 2021, Japan announced that it would discharge the polluted water from the Fukushima nuclear accident into the ocean. Many countries, including China, have expressed firm opposition, and Russia also expressed serious concerns at this WHA. However, Japan has disregarded the reasonable appeals and demands of the international community.

May 31, 2023 Posted by | China, oceans | 1 Comment

IAEA team in Japan for final review before planned discharge of Fukushima nuclear plant water.

abc news, 29 May 23

An International Atomic Energy Agency team has arrived in Tokyo for a final review before Japan begins releasing massive amounts of treated radioactive water into the sea from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, a plan that has been strongly opposed b…

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press, May 29, 2023

TOKYO — An International Atomic Energy Agency team arrived in Tokyo on Monday for a final review before Japan begins releasing massive amounts of treated radioactive water into the sea from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, a plan that has been strongly opposed by local fishing communities and neighboring countries.

The team, which includes experts from 11 countries, will meet with officials from the government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, and visit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant during their five-day visit, the economy and industry ministry said………………………………

Some scientists say the impact of long-term, low-dose exposure to radionuclides is unknown and the release should be delayed.

Japan’s government has stepped up campaigns in Japanese media and at food fairs to promote the safety of seafood from Fukushima, while providing regular briefings to foreign governments including South Korea and members of the Pacific Islands Forum.

…………………. Japanese officials say the water stored in the tanks needs to be removed to prevent accidental leaks in case of another disaster and to make room for the plant’s decommissioning.

May 31, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans | Leave a comment

Pacific islanders are not convinced that the release of Fukushima wastewater is safe

“………………………………………..Selling the water release plan to the Pacific

Nuclear experts from South Korea, which has been hostile to the planned discharge, have this week been given an unprecedented six-day personalised tour of the Fukushima plant.

The prime minister of the Cook Islands and chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Mark Brown, said there had been an increase in “more intense dialogue” with Japan, and he was presently happy with the level of transparency………………..

Dozens rally against water release

However, a series of public relations disasters by TEPCO have fuelled public distrust in the plan.

There have been numerous cases where TEPCO failed to reveal that tainted water had leaked into the sea.

Local media also exposed that most water storage tanks did contain water still contaminated with dangerous radioactive elements, such as the cancer-causing strontium-90, despite TECPO’s assurances this was not the case.

TEPCO now says about a third of the tanks are ready for release, and water not up to standards will be reprocessed until it is.

“They don’t provide true information,” said Gen Hirai, a protester who gathered outside the company’s headquarters in May.

“It’s a company that blocks information to citizens.”

What do surrounding countries think of the plan?

Earlier in May, the Solomon Islands reportedly rebuked an offer from Japan to step up maritime cooperation, citing the planned Fukushima discharge.

“Japan keeps emphasising the significance of maritime security, they still decided to dump the radioactive wastewater into the ocean,” the Solomon Star reported from a government source.

Whereas Papua New Guinea (PNG) is reportedly softening its stance to accept Japan’s position.

But PNG Prime Minister James Marape couldn’t be drawn on whether the country would support Japan’s plan, saying it was “another conversation.”…………..

May 30, 2023 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans | Leave a comment

Public health expert says Fukushima waste water release a retrograde step

ABCNewsAustralia 30 May 23 Operators of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was destroyed by a massive tsunami followed by nuclear meltdowns in March 2011, are set to release treated wastewater into the ocean in coming months.

Public health expert Tilman Ruff says the danger with dumping the contaminated water is that it could settle on the sea floor or concentrate up the food chain.

May 29, 2023 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans | Leave a comment

Fukushima fishermen speak out against nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping plan

Global Times, Xu Keyue and Xing Xiaojing in Iwaki May 17, 2023 

Located at the confluence of cold and warm currents, the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, has a rich variety of sea life and a long history of local fishing.

In the 12 years since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the fishing industry in the area has started to recover thanks to the efforts of local fishermen and other groups.

However, the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have gone back on their promises and arbitrarily decided to release nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the sea, in a big blow to the Fukushima fishing industry and the prefecture’s revitalization.

As the scheduled plan to dump the nuclear-contaminated wastewater from Daiichi plant approaches, Global Times reporters went to Fukushima. In this second installment of this field investigation, the Global Times reveals the helpless fishermen who are speaking out.

Silenced Fukushima fishermen

Fishermen in Fukushima were banned from fishing after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which caused leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In 2015, the Japanese government, TEPCO, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, and the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations of Japan signed an agreement, stating nothing would be done “about the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima without the understanding and consent of the relevant people.” However, in April 2021, the Japanese government blatantly broke its promise and announced that it had decided to dump the nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the Daiichi plant into the sea in two years, which has sparked strong dissatisfaction from fishery associations and the wider public.

As the most direct stakeholders, the voices of Fukushima fishermen are indispensable in the opposition to the disposal of nuclear-contaminated wastewater. However, when contacting them before the trip to Fukushima, Global Times reporters were surprised to find that the local fishermen were not allowed to speak.

Global Times reporters contacted industry groups such as the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations and Fukushima Prefecture’s Soma Futaba Fisheries Cooperative Association for help in reaching fishermen in their areas, but were told that “individual fishermen are not allowed to give interviews.” Toshimitsu Konno, president of the Soma Futaba Fisheries Cooperative Association, told the Global Times that fishermen have different views and need to unify their opinions to form a single position on behalf of the association before negotiating with the Japanese government and TEPCO.

The voices of fishermen are at the heart of a series of field investigations into the issue of nuclear-contaminated wastewater at Fukushima. Global Times reporters tried other ways to contact the fishermen for interviews, but were either rejected or ignored.

It is understood that Japan’s trade associations are highly hierarchical and an extremely closed society. If members are excluded for offending the trade associations, it is equivalent to losing their jobs. When asked for an interview, one fisherman said, “we have to fish here for generations.”

The voices of fishermen are at the heart of a series of field investigations into the issue of nuclear-contaminated wastewater at Fukushima. Global Times reporters tried other ways to contact the fishermen for interviews, but were either rejected or ignored.

It is understood that Japan’s trade associations are highly hierarchical and an extremely closed society. If members are excluded for offending the trade associations, it is equivalent to losing their jobs. When asked for an interview, one fisherman said, “we have to fish here for generations.”

However, Haruo Ono, a fisherman from the town of Shinchi in Fukushima, said he was willing to be interviewed. He had something to say about the dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater.

The town is the northernmost part of Fukushima’s coastline, where rivers run eastward into the Pacific Ocean. Since Iwaki city where the Global Times reporters stayed is in the southernmost part of Fukushima Prefecture, to interview Ono, they set out early and drove north through towns of Hirono, Tomioka, Futaba and Namie, near the Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants, and through Minamisoma and Soma cities, for more than 100 kilometers before arriving at Shinchi……………..

After the accident, fishermen were unable to fish normally for a long time and have not fully recovered until now. For years, Ono has been pressing for answers from the Japanese government and TEPCO…………………………………

the 71-year-old walked briskly, holding forth without waiting for a reporter’s question.

“When will Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister, come and listen to our voices? When can he come to know the real situation in Fukushima?” asked Ono, speaking quickly in the Fukushima dialect.

“Does the government think that by issuing leaflets telling people that the nuclear-contaminated wastewater is OK, it can be released into the sea? Is that really safe? The sea is not a dustbin! In Japan, where people are fined for throwing rubbish into the sea, how can the wastewater containing radioactive materials be discharged into the sea? It is really strange that the Japanese government and TEPCO chose the easiest and cheapest way to throw out the wastewater when there were other options,” Ono said with a puzzled face………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Global Times reporters also visited seafood shelves in local supermarkets and found many imported products from areas such as the US, Chile and Russia, but those from Fukushima were nowhere to be found……………………………………………………….

“There is no change in the Fukushima fisheries association’s clear stance against the discharge plan,” Sawada said, stressing that he will continue to express his opposition to the plan to the Japanese government and TEPCO in collaboration with the national fishery association and other organizations.

………………………… World’s responsibility to protect the sea

Why would the association prohibit individual fishermen from speaking out when it also opposes the dumping plan? What is the “unified position” of the association, and how did the negotiations with the Japanese government go?……………………………………..more

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Japan, oceans | Leave a comment

Fukushima greets summer with dread as nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping approaches

Global Times, By  Xu Keyue and Xing Xiaojing in Iwaki, May 15, 2023

The Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan is known as “the island of happiness,” which embodies people’s longing for a better life. Summer began in Fukushima in early May when locals normally look forward to intimate contact with the sea.

However, despite strong opposition at home and abroad, the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are set to go ahead with the plan to dump the nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea this summer. 

As summer approaches, the Global Times reporters went to the Fukushima Prefecture. In this first installment of this field investigation, the Global Times reveals the palpable sense of fear and unease hanging over Fukushima, paired with intense opposition from locals who chanted “Never allow arbitrary dumping into the sea!”………………………………………………………………………………………………………

About 54 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the city looks subdued with few passersby along the streets. The excavation of an underwater tunnel for the project to drain the nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was completed in April, and TEPCO announced that it is expected to complete the construction of the tunnel by the end of June. Measuring 1,031 meters long and 1 kilometer away from the coast, the tunnel will allow radioactive wastewater to be dumped into the sea.

…………………………………………………….. Chiyo Oda, co-chairperson of an environmental NGO and city assembly “Stop polluting the oceans!” was one of them.

“Summer is coming. What’s going to happen? Fukushima greets summer with fear!” said Oda, who expressed strong concern about the dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater at a conference themed “Don’t Nuke the Pacific” on May 7. “The Japanese government has reached an agreement with the fishing community that nothing will be done without [the fishing community and other stakeholders’] understanding.” Nevertheless, the Japanese government is apparently breaking its promise and is preparing to dump the water which is likely to start this summer.

When the Global Times reporters met Oda, the 68-year-old woman had just returned to Iwaki from Fukushima city, the capital of Fukushima Prefecture. Early that day, with Kazuyoshi Sato, another co-representative of the city assembly, Oda had driven for two hours to the Fukushima prefectural office to hold a press conference to announce that a mass rally called “May 16 Tokyo Action” will be held in Tokyo on May 16 to urge the Japanese government and TEPCO to stop dumping the nuclear-contaminated wastewater.

Oda told the Global Times that the campaign will last all day on May 16, when anti-sea pollution campaigners from all over Japan are meant to gather in Tokyo. As planned, they will gather in front of the TEPCO headquarters at 10:30 am, and then head to the House of Representatives with lawmakers to hold the rally. The rally and petition to the Japanese government and parliament will be followed by a speech at the Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall in the evening. It will then be followed by a massive demonstration in Ginza, Tokyo, which is expected to be attended by more than 1,000 people.

“The sea of my hometown, the Sea of Japan, and the seas of the world must not be polluted,” said Oda.

Oda noted that the Japanese government, TEPCO, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, and the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations of Japan signed an agreement in 2015, stating it would not “do anything about the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima without the understanding and consent of the relevant people,” but now the Japanese government and TEPCO insist on dumping the water despite opposition from all parties, including fishermen. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

“Look! This is the sea we want to protect!” Ikarashi told the Global Times that he and his family have fond memories of living by the sea, eating the catch from the same sea, surfing, and frolicking with their children. The people of Fukushima live just like them, having enjoyed the bounty of the sea for generations. If the nuclear-contaminated wastewater is dumped into the sea, future generations will no longer be able to enjoy the beautiful nature.

Ruiko Muto, who lives in Tamura, Fukushima, is the head of the association for the victims of the Fukushima nuclear accident. After the accident, she worked hard to hold the former management of TEPCO accountable as a member of the legal team for the Fukushima nuclear accident and the criminal prosecution team.

Muto told the Global Times in an email that “ALPS-treated water” used by the Japanese government and TEPCO contains many other radioactive substances besides tritium, making it “not safe at all.” Under such circumstances, attempts to release the radioactive wastewater from Fukushima into the sea must not be allowed.

Muto said that as summer approaches, her group will join forces with other civic groups and continue to express opposition through protests and rallies.

Dumping not only way

In an on-the-spot interview, Global Times reporters noted the intense concern over whether “ALPS-treated water,” as the Japanese government and TEPCO refer to it, is safe, and whether there is an alternative to dealing with the wastewater.

Hideyuki Ban, a Japanese nuclear expert and co-director of the Tokyo-based Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC), told the Global Times that “the nuclear-contaminated wastewater contains 64 radionuclides, including tritium, some of which are very long-lived and cannot necessarily be diluted. [The compounds] can accumulate in the ocean and attach to fish and shellfish, and some of them can enter the body of marine organisms, causing human beings to be exposed to nuclear radiation after consumption. Even if [the wastewater] is treated and released into the sea, it is not safe.”

“There is no precedent in the world for dumping such wastewater containing 64 radionuclides into the sea,” he said. 

“The capacity of ALPS to remove radionuclides and the amount of the nuclear-contaminated wastewater to be discharged are not fully understood, let alone gaining the understanding and consent of stakeholders. Under such circumstances, it is not allowed to arbitrarily discharge the wastewater,” he said.

Ban noted that there are other ways to dispose of the wastewater. For example, there is the option of “mortar solidification,” where the nuclear-contaminated wastewater is mixed, solidified, and stored in mortar as in cement production. What the Japanese government has done is based on a political decision, not one based on scientific research, Ban criticized……………………………………………………………………….

The problem, however, is that even if the nuclear-contaminated wastewater is disposed of, key issues such as whether nuclear fuel debris can be removed from the Daiichi plant remain unresolved. The government plans to decommission the reactor in the next 30 to 40 years, but it has yet to give a clear explanation of how long it will take to complete the project and in what condition the facility will have to be in order to qualify as successfully decommissioned, according to Muto.

Surrounded by the sea, Japan gives thanks to the gracious sea as a prosperous maritime nation, on “Sea Day” held annually on the third Monday of July, which is one of the statutory holidays in the country.. Born by the sea, the locals reached by the Global Times could not help but express their deep concern and fear that if the sea is polluted, it will be difficult to enjoy the sea’s succor in the future.


May 16, 2023 Posted by | Japan, oceans, wastes, water | Leave a comment

Hinkley fish deterrent farce makes mockery of Environment Agency and Minister 28 Apr 23

In a humiliating climbdown, the Environment Agency now recommend that EDF Energy be excused from installing an acoustic fish deterrent at Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, and they have had the cheek to ask for the public’s endorsement of the Agency’s inexplicable volte face in a further consultation.

The UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities for one will not be giving it.

NFLA England Forum Chair Councillor David Blackburn said: “After a late hour supper of humble lamprey pie, senior executives at the Environment Agency appear to have shown themselves to have less spine than jellyfish. The requirement to install a deterrent was first made after representations from the public and campaign groups, including the NFLA; a detailed analysis of the impact of the plant on fish stocks and pain-staking deliberations; and the personal intercession of the Secretary of State George Eustice to ensure that it became part of the permitting conditions.

“This new recommendation makes a mockery of the Environment Agency inspection team and the Secretary of State who previously had the courage to stand up to nuclear interests. It also represents a massive slap in the face with a wet kipper for public consultation, because what is the point responding again and again to consultations and presenting to inquiries demonstrating conclusively the validity of your case when senior civil servants simply cave into any clamour from EDF Energy?”

Nonetheless, the NFLA, in a last-ditch effort, will be joining local campaigners by responding robustly to oppose this proposal – for the sake of the fish.

Councillor Blackburn added: “It looks like someone at EDF Energy is following the adage of Robert the Bruce ‘to try, try, try again’ as clearly the company remains determined to pressurise the Environment Agency to recuse it from installing an acoustic fish deterrent at Hinkley Point C to save time and money, for this is a project well behind schedule and massively over budget. French shareholders will be happy, but the fish will not.

“The Severn Estuary is one of the most important fish habitats in the UK, and the fear is that millions of fish will die every day once this plant finally becomes operational as they are sucked to their deaths along with the cooling water.

“We would urge members of the public, elected members and local groups opposed to this plan to respond to the Environment Agency consultation before 25 May 2023. This is your last chance to save the fish!”

Details of the latest Environment Agency consultation can be found at:

May 1, 2023 Posted by | oceans, UK | Leave a comment

Marine deaths prompt calls for investigation and halt into any new nuclear dump tests.

Marine Deaths of harbour porpoise, dolphin, pilot whale, seals
and other protected species following last August’s seismic blasting
looking at the geology of the Irish Sea for a deep sub-sea nuclear dump
have prompted calls for a halt and an investigation.

A legal challenge has been threatened by campaigners against further seismic blasting in the search areas which include the Irish Sea and Allerdale’s Solway Firth area.

The Copeland seismic blasting went ahead for 20 days from the 1st August
2022 despite a petiton of over 50,000 signatures. The testing of the
Copeland Irish Sea area centred off Sellafield was contracted by Nuclear
Waste Services in their quest to find a place to dispose of high level
nuclear wastes in a Geological Disposal Facility.

Environmental Lawyers
Leigh Day acting for Lakes Against Nuclear Dump, a Radiation Free Lakeland
campaign have now written to the Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey and
to the Marine Management Organisation. The letter includes an Appendix of
“Events” beginning with strandings of protected species including dead
seals and harbour porpoise at Drigg on the 8th August and includes deaths
of dolphin, pilot whale and jellyfish (food for protected turtle species).

Radiation Free Lakeland 25th April 2023

April 27, 2023 Posted by | oceans, UK | Leave a comment

Japan hopes to start discharging Fukushima nuclear wastewater in July

Gong Zhe

Japan is hoping to start discharging radioactive waste water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean in July.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) told Kyoto News on Saturday that the excavator is near the exit of the tunnel located one-kilometer offshore. The 1,030-meter tunnel is used to discharge the treated water stored in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea. As long as 1,017 meters of the tunnel have been excavated.

TEPCO is trying to complete the tunnel and other facilities related to water discharging before the end of June, and the possibility of starting discharge operations as early as July has increased.

The Japanese government and TEPCO are trying to start discharging around this summer, but fishermen and others continue to oppose it. The plan faces opposition at home and has raised “grave concern” in neighboring countries, including but not limited to China and South Korea.

TEPCO plans to use a large amount of seawater for dilution to make the activity of tritium in treated water less than one-fortieth of national standards, and then discharge it through a seabed tunnel. It is expected to be discharged for several decades.

April 25, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans | Leave a comment

Ignoring science, environmental protection and international law – G7 endorses Japan’s Fukushima water discharge plans

Greenpeace International, 16 April 2023

Legacy of Fukushima disaster shows nuclear energy is no solution to energy and climate crisis.

Sapporo, Japan – The nations of the G7 have chosen politics over science and the protection of the marine environment with their decision today to support the Japanese government’s plans to discharge Fukushima radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean. 

The 1.3 million cubic meters/tons of radioactive waste water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, currently in tanks, is scheduled to be discharged into the Pacific Ocean this year. Nations in the Asia Pacific region, led by the Pacific Island Forum, have strongly voiced their opposition to the plans.[1] Some of the world’s leading oceanographic institutes and marine scientists have criticised the weakness of the scientific justification applied by TEPCO, the owner of the nuclear plant, warned against using the Pacific Ocean as a dumping ground for radioactive contaminated water, and called for alternatives to discharge to be applied.[2]

“The Japanese government is desperate for international endorsement for its Pacific Ocean radioactive water dump plans. It has failed to protect its own citizens, including the vulnerable fishing communities of Fukushima, as well as nations across the wider Asia Pacific region. The aftermath of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima is still strongly felt, and the Japanese government has failed to fully investigate the effects of discharging multiple radionuclides on marine life. The government is obligated under international law to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact assessment, including the impact of transboundary marine pollution, but has failed to do so. Its plans are a violation of the UN Convention Law of the Sea.

The marine environment is under extreme pressure from climate change, overfishing and resource extraction. Yet, the G7 thinks it’s acceptable to endorse plans to deliberately dump nuclear waste into the ocean. Politics inside the G7 at Sapporo just trumped science, environmental protection, and international law,” said Shaun Burnie, Senior Nuclear Specialist at Greenpeace East Asia.

Greenpeace East Asia analysis has detailed the failures of liquid waste processing technology at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and the environmental threats posed by the releases.[3] There is no prospect of an end to the nuclear crisis at the plant as current decommissioning plans are not feasible. Furthermore, the report finds the nuclear fuel debris in the reactors cannot be completely removed and will continue to contaminate the ground water over many decades.[4] Claims that the discharges will take 30 years is inaccurate as in reality, it will continue into the next century. Viable alternatives to discharge, specifically long term storage and processing, have been ignored by the Japanese government.[3] 

The Japanese government’s attempt to normalise the Fukushima nuclear disaster is directly linked to its overall energy policy objective of increasing the operation of nuclear reactors again after the 2011 disaster. 54 reactors were available in 2011 compared to only ten reactors in 2022, generating 7.9% of the nation’s electricity in FY21 compared to 29% in 2010.[5]  Meanwhile, five of the other six G7 governments led by France, the US and the UK are also aggressively promoting nuclear power development. 

The idea that the nuclear industry is capable of delivering a safe and sustainable energy future is delusional and a dangerous distraction from the only viable energy solution to the climate emergency which is 100% renewable energy. The global growth of low cost renewable energy has been phenomenal – but it has to be much faster and at an even greater scale if carbon emissions are to be reduced by 2030. Approval for nuclear waste dumping and nuclear energy expansion sound like the 1970’s but we have no time for such distractions. We are in a race to save the climate in the 21st century, and only renewables can deliver this,” said Shaun Burnie.

April 17, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, oceans, wastes | Leave a comment

  The temperature of the world’s ocean surface has hit an all-time high.

 The temperature of the world’s ocean surface has hit an all-time high
since satellite records began, leading to marine heatwaves around the
globe, according to US government data. Climate scientists said preliminary
data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) showed
the average temperature at the ocean’s surface has been at 21.1C since
the start of April – beating the previous high of 21C set in 2016.

Three years of La Niña conditions across the vast tropical Pacific have helped
suppress temperatures and dampened the effect of rising greenhouse gas
emissions. But scientists said heat was now rising to the ocean surface,
pointing to a potential El Niño pattern in the tropical Pacific later this
year that can increase the risk of extreme weather conditions and further
challenge global heat records.

 Guardian 8th April 2023

April 8, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment