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China urges Japan to safely dispose of nuclear-contaminated water

Xinhua | 2023-01-16

BEIJING — China once again urges Japan to take the reasonable concerns of relevant parties seriously and dispose of its nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

Wang made the remarks at a daily news briefing here in response to reports that Japan would pipe nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean during the spring and summer this year.

Wang said that over the past two years, the international community has strongly questioned and opposed the unilateral and erroneous decision of the Japanese government to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, and expressed grave concerns over the impact such an action would have on the marine environment and public health.

Wang said the majority of the Japanese public is also opposed to this irresponsible approach. When polled, 55 percent of respondents opposed the disposal of contaminated water into the ocean.

“It is regrettable that the concerns of all parties have yet to be given due attention or be addressed by Japan,” Wang said, adding that Japan has failed to provide scientific and credible explanations concerning the legitimacy of its plan, the accuracy of data on the nuclear-contaminated water, the effectiveness of the treatment system, and the uncertainties about the environmental impact.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sent three technical task forces to Japan and so far, there has been no conclusive resolution on Japan’s proposal, Wang said, noting that the agency has also issued many requests to Japan, seeking clarifications or making recommendations for improved disposal plans.

“Under such circumstances, it is reckless and irresponsible for Japan to approve the discharge plan and proceed with the relevant construction project,” he said.

Wang said that China once again urges Japan to take the reasonable concerns of relevant parties seriously, and dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner. Japan should subject to the strict monitoring of the IAEA, and protect the marine environment, health rights and interests of all people, he added.

“Without authorization and full consultation with its neighbors, other stakeholders and relevant international institutions, Japan should not begin the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean,” Wang said.

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202301/16/WS63c551cea31057c47eba9e94.html

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January 20, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s unilateral radioactive wastewater discharge irresponsible, harmful: green activist

“The Pacific Ocean is not the sea of Japan, but the sea of everybody … Pollutants will flow to neighboring countries in a situation that a lot of radioactive materials have already been released and contaminated (the marine ecosystem),” said the green activist.

File photo taken on Oct. 12, 2017 shows huge tanks that store contaminated radioactive wastewater in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Source: Xinhua 2023-01-15

“It is very concerned that Japan is still unilaterally pushing for the discharge of the Fukushima contaminated water,” energy and climate change director at the Korea Federation for Environment Movement said.

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) — Japan’s unilateral push to discharge radioactive wastewater from its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean is irresponsible and harmful, as the Japanese government pursued it without consultations with neighboring countries, a South Korean green activist said.

“It is very concerned that Japan is still unilaterally pushing for the discharge of the Fukushima contaminated water,” Ahn Jae-hun, energy and climate change director at the Korea Federation for Environment Movement, told Xinhua on Saturday.

“Neighboring countries such as (South) Korea and China could suffer more direct damage, so Japan had to consult with them. The problem is that Japan follows its own process (without consultations),” said Ahn.

“A sizeable amount of the contaminated water, such as tritium, is difficult to purify no matter how much purification is performed. It is very irresponsible to release it as it is.”

Japan’s planned release of tritium-laced wastewater from the Fukushima power plant into the sea will start around this spring or summer, according to Kyodo News reports citing the Japanese government.

Japan decided in April 2021 to start dumping about 1.25 million tons of nuclear wastewater into the ocean spanning 30 years from 2023.

The Japanese government has claimed that the contaminated water could be diluted with water and discharged at a low concentration after being treated with an advanced liquid processing system (ALPS).

The green activist, however, noted that the radioactive substances cannot be completely filtered through the ALPS, saying substances, such as tritium, will be poured into the sea unfiltered.

“A lot of radioactive materials have already flowed into the sea after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Because of that, fish contaminated with cesium are caught in waters off Fukushima,” said Ahn.

According to the South Korean environmental group’s analysis of the 2021 data from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, cesium was detected from 8 percent of Japanese fishery products.

“Once (the contaminated water) is thrown into the sea, it cannot be retrieved. Environmental effects from radioactive materials cannot be felt immediately, but will inevitably appear over a long period of time,” Ahn said.

“The Pacific Ocean is not the sea of Japan, but the sea of everybody … Pollutants will flow to neighboring countries in a situation that a lot of radioactive materials have already been released and contaminated (the marine ecosystem),” said the green activist.

The South Korean government, which has opposed the radioactive wastewater dumping by Japan, reiterated its opposition.

“Putting top priority on public health and safety, the government will continue to respond by maintaining its position that the contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant should be safely disposed of in accordance with international standards from the objective and scientific perspectives,” a South Korean foreign ministry official said Friday.

https://english.news.cn/20230115/d0affa1c0f3747e8b36fce7babbe7644/c.html

January 20, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan urged to take calls from intl community seriously over its dumping of nuclear-contaminated water

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning

Jan 04, 2023

The dumping of nuclear-contaminated water is not Japan’s own business, and China is urging Japan to take seriously the just calls from the international community, consult on related issues with stakeholders including its neighbors and Pacific Island countries, deal with the contaminated water in a transparent, scientific and safe way, and accept supervision from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

Mao Ning, a spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remarks in response to a question about the IAEA’s review of Japan’s discharge plan at Wednesday’s routine press briefing. 

An IAEA task force established to review the safety of Japan’s plans to discharge the water treated by the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station into the sea has recently released its third report. 

The report sets out how the task force is conducting its independent checks of key data related to the monitoring of the safety of the treated water before, during and after its discharge. 

But Mao stressed the report did not come to a conclusion on key questions such as authenticity, accuracy and whether data was collected in accordance with standards, which are issues of concern. 

The report once again shows that the international community is completely reasonable in harboring concerns over data accuracy, effectiveness of treatment equipment, and the uncertainty of its environmental impact. 

It is reckless and irresponsible for Japan to approve the plan to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea and forcibly advance preparations for the discharge when the IAEA technical task force is still working and has not drawn any conclusions, Mao said.

According to Japan’s plan, it will start to dump the nuclear-contaminated water from the spring of 2023 despite anger and strong opposition from South Pacific countries. 

Adding to their skepticism is the bad record of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) which operates the Fukushima plant. The company indicated that the vast majority of the wastewater had already been treated until 2018, when it acknowledged that only a fifth had been treated sufficiently. 

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202301/1283175.shtml

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan slammed for ‘reckless decision’ on release of nuclear-contaminated water

Jan 5, 2023

China on Wednesday slammed Japan for its “reckless and irresponsible” move to push forward a plan to release nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, urging Tokyo to fully consult with stakeholders and relevant international institutions.

In response to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s third report on Fukushima water treatment published on Dec 29, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular news conference that the ocean discharge plan for the contaminated water is “by no means” Japan’s domestic affair.

But as the work of the IAEA’s technical working group is still underway and no conclusion has been reached, Mao described Japan’s moves to push ahead with discharge preparations as “reckless and irresponsible”.

“China once again urges Japan to pay attention to the legitimate and justifiable concerns of the international community and fully consult with stakeholders, including its neighboring countries and Pacific Island countries, as well as relevant international institutions,” Mao said.

Japan should adopt an open, transparent, science-based and safe approach in disposing the water, and accept strict supervision by the IAEA, she added.

Mao said the report focuses on the disposal of nuclear-contaminated water and its environmental impact, and proposes methods and plans for the assessment and review of relevant data.

She noted that no conclusion has been reached yet on issues of great concern by all parties, such as the authenticity and accuracy of data and whether the data collection methods meet safety standards.

The IAEA report has once again demonstrated that the international community’s concerns over the accuracy of data on nuclear-contaminated water, the efficacy of the treatment system and the uncertainty of environmental impact are well-founded, Mao added.

In July, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority officially approved Tokyo Electric Power Company’s discharge plan, which will be implemented from spring 2023.The endorsement provoked concerns from local fishermen and objections from Asian neighbors.

The IAEA Task Force’s review mission visited Japan in February and March last year and released relevant reports without any conclusive opinions.

http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2023-01/05/content_10209946.htm

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , | Leave a comment

Take Japan to court for nuclear water dumping

This file photo taken on February 3, 2020 shows storage tanks for contaminated water at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture.

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-05

The Japanese government had announced in April 2020 that it plans to dump nuclear waste water from its wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean from the spring of 2023.

As the date approaches, and given Japan’s record, it will not be surprising if Japan starts dumping the water any time soon without giving other countries advance notice.

While the action will save the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company money and trouble, it will also shift the trouble and cost onto other nations, the Pacific ones in particular. There is a precedent here. Years after the United States carried out nuclear tests on the Bikini Atoll, also in the Pacific, from 1946 to 1958, radiation levels there were considered too high to allow resettlement in 1998.

Fishermen from China, the Republic of Korea and other Southeast Asian countries, including from Japan, depend on the waters in the region to make a living. No wonder, Japanese fishermen were protesting the move to dump nuclear waste into the waters.

The US, which Japan always looks up to, has supported Japan’s plan despite studies showing that the region most polluted by the discharge will be the US’ west coast in two years.

One can imagine the scale of disaster if over 1.3 million metric tons of nuclear waste is dumped into the ocean. As some environmentalists in the Pacific have said, that’s like waging a “nuclear war” on the Pacific people.

Senior Japanese officials, despite bowing politely at news conferences, have shown no sincerity in negotiating with their Pacific neighbors. When they announced the decision to dump the water into the ocean, they did not ask for understanding from any side except the US.

There is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and multiple nuclear safety conventions to which Japan is a signatory, but it has helped little. It is time for all sides involved to sue the Japanese government in international courts. Japan cannot do this evil deed and just walk away unpunished.

https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202301/05/WS63b613aba31057c47eba7bd1.html

January 5, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , | Leave a comment

Safety first must be priority for Fukushima water: China Daily editorial

2022-11-23

Since the Japanese government announced its highly controversial plan to release massive amounts of radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in April last year, it has met with opposition and condemnation, not only from Japan’s neighbors, China and the Republic of Korea, but also from Japanese society, residents in Fukushima and the country’s fishery industry in particular.

Although the Japanese government says that apart from tritium, which cannot be removed from the water, all other radionuclides will have been reduced to safe amounts after treatment, it is not known what the environmental consequences will be after it is discharged into the sea.

Marine experts have raised concerns over traces of ruthenium, cobalt, strontium and plutonium isotopes in the wastewater.

The Pacific Ocean does not belong to Japan. It is an ocean shared by dozens of countries and regions. By discharging the water into the ocean, the Japanese government shows little regard for the health and well-being of its own people and those in neighboring countries. As such, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as the world’s nuclear watchdog, should put public health first and do its utmost to see to it that Japan fully complies with all the relevant nuclear safety standards.

The IAEA set up a task force last year to review the safety of Japan’s discharge plan, comprising a group of IAEA specialists and external experts from 11 countries. The task force conducted a field trip to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station last week, and reviewed the updated technical plans for the water discharge by Tokyo Electric Power Company and the equipment and facilities to be used for the discharge. The IAEA said a report of the mission will be made available within three months, and a comprehensive assessment on the safety of the discharge will be issued prior to the planned release in 2023.

Both China and the ROK have urged the agency to strictly adhere to all safety standards in its assessment of the plan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday that China hopes the task force will ensure the “absolute safety” of the treatment.

And the Foreign Ministry of the ROK also struck the same tune on Tuesday, stressing that the discharge of the contaminated water should meet objective scientific standards.

Needless to say, Japan should coordinate closely and transparently with the task force so as to ensure the IAEA clearly grasps the whole picture.

China’s support of the IAEA task force’s work should not be interpreted as an approval of Japan’s decision to discharge the contaminated water. It needs to be pointed out that the task force has not evaluated the alternatives to ocean discharge, leaving the IAEA unable to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and find the best way to dispose of nuclear-contaminated water. China still maintains that instead of pushing forward with its discharge plan, Japan should find a safer way to treat the contaminated water.

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202211/23/WS637e2ecaa31049175432b7ec.html

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

China supports IAEA review of Fukushima treatment

“Just because China supports the task force’s work does not mean it approves of Japan’s decision to discharge the contaminated water, Mao also said, urging Japan to find an appropriate way to treat the contaminated water, instead of pushing forward with its discharge plan.”

2022-11-21

China supports the International Atomic Energy Agency and its task force in reviewing Japan’s treatment of nuclear contaminated water, and hopes the task force will strictly implement the IAEA’s nuclear safety standards and ensure the “absolute safety” of the treatment, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

Mao made the remarks at a daily news conference on Monday after the task force carried out a new mission last week to review Japan’s plan to discharge treated nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The IAEA said a report of the mission will be made available within three months.

In response, Mao said a time limit should be avoided to ensure the quality and credibility of the report, and Japan should coordinate closely with the task force.

The IAEA didn’t review other plans of treating contaminated water than discharging it to sea, thus failing to make a full assessment and find the best treatment plan, Mao pointed out.

Just because China supports the task force’s work does not mean it approves of Japan’s decision to discharge the contaminated water, Mao also said, urging Japan to find an appropriate way to treat the contaminated water, instead of pushing forward with its discharge plan.

https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202211/21/WS637b7603a31049175432b07c.html

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

China Urges Japan to Safely Dispose of Nuclear Water

11 November 2022

The International Atomic Energy Agency will continue a comprehensive safety review of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian once again urged Japan to respond to the legitimate concerns of all relevant parties and dispose of nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, open, transparent, and safe way.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced Wednesday that its technical task force would visit Japan from Nov. 14 to 18 to continue a comprehensive safety review of Japan’s plan to pipe nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station into the Pacific Ocean.

In response to a related query, Zhao said at a daily press briefing that China supports the work of the IAEA and its technical task force.

He said China hopes that the task force will adhere to the principles of objectivity, fairness, and science, strictly implement the IAEA’s nuclear safety standards, and ensure the absolute safety of the disposal of contaminated water. “Japan should fully cooperate with the review by the IAEA’s technical task force,” said Zhao.

While the IAEA’s working group has not completed the assessment and review, and the international community’s concerns have not been effectively resolved, the Japanese side has nevertheless approved the discharge plan and accelerated the construction of the discharge pipeline, intending to create a fait accompli.

“This undermines the authority of institutions and technical working groups and is highly irresponsible to the international community and the Japanese people,” Zhao said.

China once again urges the Japanese side to face up to the legitimate concerns of all parties, fully consult with stakeholders including its neighbors and relevant international institutions, and dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, open, transparent, and safe manner to protect the marine environment and safeguard the health and food safety of people of all countries.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/China-Urges-Japan-to-Safely-Dispose-of-Nuclear-Water-20221111-0004.html

November 20, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

The sea is not Japan’s dustbin, nor the Pacific Ocean its sewer: Chinese FM

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sep 19, 2022

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday once again called on Japan to stop its dubious and irresponsible plan of dumping Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the sea, as the radioactive substance in the nuclear-contaminated water, although it had already been treated through a filtration system, was once tested to be two times higher than the discharge standard.

According to Kyodo News, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which is in charge of construction of the facility to be used for releasing the nuclear-contaminated water, said on Thursday that the company found the level of radioactive substance Strontium 90 as high as three times of Japan’s national standard, even though the samples on July 28 had been treated through a filtration system called ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System).

The report came after the repeated claim of both the Japanese government and TEPCO that nuclear-contaminated water is “safe” to be dumped into the ocean because it would go through the multi-nuclide removal system ALPS and radioactive substances such as Strontium 90 and Carbon 14 that cause genetic mutation in the ecosystem can be reduced to a “safe” level.

“I’ve noticed related media report and this proves the exact rationality of international community’s concern over the reliability of Japan’s data, the efficacy of the treatment system, and the uncertainty of environmental impact,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Monday’s regular press conference.

The sea is not Japan’s dustbin, nor the Pacific Ocean its sewer, Mao emphasized, saying the Japanese government is extremely irresponsible for forcing through its disposal plan and the construction of underwater pipeline to dump the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean given doubts in the plan and unsettled international concerns.

Mao once again urges Japan to deal with the nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, open, transparent and safe manner on the basis of negotiations with neighboring countries and international institutions.

Despite concerns and opposition from within and neighboring countries including South Korea and China, TEPCO started construction of facility on August 4 for dumping the nuclear-contaminated water after Japan’s nuclear regulator approved its discharge plan in late July.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202209/1275581.shtml

September 26, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment