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Fukushima’s Contaminated Wastewater Could Be Too Risky to Dump in the Ocean

ssfsq7teavc1ccedikwz-732x410A person walks past storage tanks for contaminated water at the company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

 

August 7, 2020

Almost a decade ago, the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami triggered an explosion at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing the most severe nuclear accident since Chernobyl and releasing an unprecedented amount of radioactive contamination in the ocean. In the years since, there’s been a drawn out cleanup process, and water radiation levels around the plant have fallen to safe levels everywhere except for in the areas closest to the now-closed plant. But as a study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution published in Science on Thursday shows, there’s another growing hazard: contaminated wastewater.

Radioactive cooling water is leaking out of the the melted-down nuclear reactors and mixing with the groundwater there. In order to prevent the groundwater from leaking into the ocean, the water is pumped into more than 1,000 tanks. Using sophisticated cleaning processes, workers have been able to remove some of this contamination and divert groundwater flows, reducing the amount of water that must be collected each day. But those tanks are filling up, and some Japanese officials have suggested that the water should dumped into the ocean to free up space.

The water in the tanks goes through an advanced treatment system to remove many radioactive isotopes. The Japanese utility company TEPCO, which is handling the cleanup processes, claims that these processes remove all radioactive particles from the water except tritium, an isotope of hydrogen which is nearly impossible remove but is considered to be relatively harmless. It decays in about 12 years, which is faster than other isotopes, is not easily absorbed by marine life, and is not as damaging to living tissue as other forms of radiation.

But according to the new study, that’s not the only radioactive contaminant left in the tanks. By examining TEPCO’s own 2018 data, WHOI researcher Ken Buesseler found that other isotopes remain in the treated wastewater, including carbon-14, cobalt-60, and strontium-90. He found these particles all take much longer to decay than tritium, and that fish and marine organisms absorb them comparatively easily.

[This] means they could be potentially hazardous to humans and the environment for much longer and in more complex ways than tritium,” the study says.

Though TEPCO’s data shows there is far less of these contaminants in the wastewater tanks than tritium, Buesseler notes that their levels vary widely from tank to tank, and that “more than 70% of the tanks would need secondary treatment to reduce concentrations below that required by law for their release.”

The study says we don’t currently have a good idea of how those more dangerous isotopes would behave in the water. We can’t assume they will behave the same way tritium does in the ocean because they have such different properties. And since there are different levels of each isotope in each different tank, each tank will need its own assessment.

To assess the consequences of the tank releases, a full accounting after any secondary treatments of what isotopes are left in each tank is needed,” the study said.

Buesseler also calls for an analysis of what other contaminants could be in the tanks, such as plutonium. Even though it wasn’t reported in high amounts in the atmosphere in 2011, recent research shows it may have been dispersed when the explosion occurred. Buesseler fears it may also be present in the cooling waters being used at the plant. That points to the need to take a fuller account of the wastewater tanks before anything is done to dump them in the ocean.

The first step is to clean up those additional radioactive contaminants that remain in the tanks, and then make plans based on what remains,” he said in a statement. “Any option that involves ocean releases would need independent groups keeping track of all of the potential contaminants in seawater, the seafloor, and marine life.”

Many Japanese municipalities have been pushing the government to reconsider its ocean dumping plans and opt to find a long-term storage solution instead, which makes sense, considering exposure to radioactive isotopes can cause myriad health problems to people. It could also hurt marine life, which could have a devastating impact on fishing economies and on ecosystems.

The health of the ocean — and the livelihoods of countless people — rely on this being done right,” said Buesseler.

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2020/08/fukushimas-contaminated-wastewater-could-be-too-risky-to-dump-in-the-ocean/

August 15, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s plans for radioactive discharges violates principles of environmental protection and defies international maritime law

Aug.4,2020

The threat of a million tonnes of highly contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi being discharged into the Pacific Ocean includes the potential environmental and human impacts, but also how a decision by the Japanese government relates to international law. What we conclude is that such a decision poses a direct threat to the marine environment, including that of the jurisdictional waters of the Korean peninsula. As such, Japan would be in breach of its obligations as defined under international environmental law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Korea government has rights to oppose the discharging in the legal perspective.

The discharge of radioactivity into the marine environment from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will inevitably increase exposure to marine species. The level of exposure depends on multiple variables. The concentrations are of direct relevance to those who may consume them, including marine species, ultimately, humans. The 1.2 million tons of highly contaminated water in nearly 1000 storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant currently has concentrations of radioactive tritium much higher than is permitted under Japanese regulation permissible for discharge into the ocean. Concerns are that the high relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of tritium’s beta radiation, its ability to bind with cell constituents to form organically-bound tritium (OBT) and its short-range beta particle, meaning it can damage DNA.

It is more important to remember that 800,000 tons of this water contains not only tritium but also contains other hazardous radioactive materials, including strontium-90, as a result of the failure of the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) technology operating during the last 9 years. There are 30,000 megaBecquerels of strontium-90 in the storage now which is absorbed by the body in a similar manner to calcium where it increases the risk of developing leukemia cancer. To give some perspective on this amount of strontium-90, it is what an average Pressurized Water Reactor would discharge in its liquid waste every year if it were to operate for 120,000 years, more than half the number of years humans have inhabited the earth. Even more threatening is that these discharges are only a small fraction of the radioactive inventory of what remains at the site. Most strontium-90 still remains in the molten cores at the site, an amount 17.3 million times more than would be released under the Japanese government’s plans for the contaminated water. And there are many other radionuclides present in the contaminated water with even longer half lives – iodine-129 for example is 13 million years.

For South Korea, the impacts of this radiation exposure is of great importance to the fishing communities, the wider population and the Government. The toxic cocktail of radionuclides from Fukushima Daiichi will rapidly disperse through the strong coastal currents along Japan’s Pacific coast, and would enter the East Sea via the East China Sea, including the waters of the Korean peninsula. We know this as a result of sea water sampling following the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

The South Korean government has rightly challenged the Japanese government over its plans for the Fukushima contaminated water, including at the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO). In November 2019 at the IMO they were joined in their opposition by the People’s Republic of China. While the Japanese government is looking to make a decision later this year the actual discharges would not take place for several more years. It is vitally important that the Korean government continue its efforts to protect the marine environment and the health and livelihoods of its citizens, including fishing communities, by challenging in every way possible the plans of the Japanese government.

 

15965317898548_9815965315211388Shaun Burnie

 

In addition to the requirements under the IMO, Japan is required to comply with international law that prohibits significant transboundary environmental harm, both to the territory of other States and to areas beyond national jurisdiction. Before any discharge into the Pacific Ocean, Japan is required to conduct an Environment Impact Assessment under Article 206 of UNCLOS. International radio-protection principles require that a decision to increase radioactivity in the environment must be justified, and if there is a viable alternative – in this case long term storage – it cannot be justified.

 

There is a clear alternative to discharging over 1.2 million tons of highly contaminated into the environment. There never was a justification for further deliberate radioactive pollution of the marine environment from Fukushima Daiichi; and, in the interests of protection of that environment as well as public safety, as well a compliance with its international legal obligations, the only acceptable way forward for the Japanese government is to terminate its discharge plans, commit to long term storage and processing.

 

9515965315210751Duncan E. J. Currie

 

By  Duncan E. J. Currie and Shaun Burnie

Duncan Currie is a practicing international and environmental lawyer. He has practiced international law and environmental law for nearly thirty years, and over that time has advised NGOs, corporations and governments on a wide range of environmental issues including the law of the sea, nuclear and waste issues.

Shaun Burnie is a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany, with much of his time based in Japan. He has worked on nuclear issues in Asia, the former Soviet Union, Europe, North and South America and the Middle East for 35 years. He has worked against the operation of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi reactors since 1997.

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/english_editorials/956456.html

 

August 7, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan needs to halt its plan to dump contaminated water from Fukushima immediately

8215965299187326A TEPCO employee tells reporters about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in June 2017.

Aug.4,2020

With the world’s attention focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese government has been pushing forward with its preparations to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean. After first announcing an initial plan last March for discharging the water into the sea over a period of 30 years, the Shinzo Abe administration held five hearings between April and July, with a final decision on the dump reportedly likely to come within the month of October. The Abe administration has disregarded the concerns and opposition of local residents and the international community while pursuing a measure that will cause irreversible contamination to our oceans. It must stop immediately.

In a recent hearing, Fukushima residents and fishermen voiced strong opposition to dumping radioactive water into the ocean, a plan that they labeled “unacceptable.” The position of the Japanese government is that the storage tanks that have held contaminated rainwater and groundwater since the nuclear accident will run out of room in the summer of 2022, forcing an ocean dump. But civic groups have criticized the government for attempting to ram through its dumping plan as the cheapest option, even though more tanks could be safely installed after re-zoning large tracts of land around the Fukushima reactor.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the reactor, argues that all radioactive matter but tritium has been removed from the contaminated water in the tanks through purification based on the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS). TEPCO argues that the tritium that would be released along with the contaminated water is no worse than the tritium that’s already released into the ocean and atmosphere during the operation of nuclear reactors around the world. But the 1.2 million tons of contaminated water that TEPCO claims has been “processed” still contains between 100 and 20,000 times the permitted amount of cancer- and mutation-causing matter, according to international environmental group Greenpeace.

According to Greenpeace’s analysis, contaminated water from the reactor, once released into the ocean, would be carried by ocean currents to South Korea’s east coast within a year. Exposing the east coast to water contaminated with deadly radioactivity for 30 years would present a serious threat to the maritime ecosystem and to public health. The UN Human Rights Council released a statement in June expressing grave concern about reports indicating that the Japanese government is accelerating plans to dump radioactive water from Fukushima.

The Korean government has set up a task force under the Office of the Prime Minister to track the steps taken by the Japanese government, but it needs to ask for more information and work even harder to sound the alarm in the international community. As a neighbor, Korea has every right to raise the issue with the Japanese government. Seoul needs to press the issue, both in Tokyo and in other countries, for the sake of Koreans’ health and the future of East Asia.

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/english_editorials/956441.html

 

August 7, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima localities speak out against dumping radioactive water in sea

Storage tanks for radioactive water are seen at tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture

Storage tanks for radioactive water are seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan February 18, 2019. Picture taken February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. projects that tanks at the Fukushima No. 1 plant that hold contaminated water will reach capacity in the summer of 2022.
 
July 17, 2020
 
Seventeen out of 59 municipal assemblies in Fukushima Prefecture have either passed a resolution or issued a statement opposing the discharge into the Pacific Ocean of treated radioactive water currently stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a Fukushima Minpo survey has shown.
 
The resolutions and statements also described measures taken by the central government as inadequate to combat reputational damage to food and fishery goods produced in Fukushima Prefecture, and the hope that local voices will be reflected in Tokyo’s decision on whether to release the tritium-tainted water into the sea.
 
Fukushima Minpo conducted a survey of assemblies in the prefecture’s 59 cities, towns and villages from June 18 to June 24. The assembly for the town of Namie, close to where the nuclear power plant is located, adopted a resolution that opposed the release of the radioactive water into the sea, while assemblies from the town of Miharu and village of Nishigo both issued statements opposing both sea discharge and evaporation as methods for disposing of the water.
 
Many municipal assemblies have urged the central government to instead come up with measures involving long-term storage of the contaminated water in tanks and to fight rumors related to Fukushima produce.
 
Some assemblies said deliberations over issuing similar resolutions or statements were ongoing.
 
Assemblies in the cities of Minamisoma and Date are still deliberating on the topic, while 11 others said they were planning to discuss it in the future, indicating a strong possibility that more than half of authorities either had already or were likely to adopt some kind of statement on the matter.
 
In February, a government panel tasked with assessing how to deal with the tanks endlessly being filled with radioactive water said releasing the liquid into the sea or evaporating it were “realistic options.” It also recommended that dumping the contaminated water into the sea was technically more feasible.
 
Resolutions and statements have been issued by local assemblies since that time, during their regular assembly sessions in March and June.
 
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., the plant operator, projects that the tanks at the Fukushima No. 1 plant will reach capacity in the summer of 2022.
 
The Nuclear Regulation Authority has said it needs about two years to prepare for the water to be released into the sea, fueling speculation that the central government will make a final decision this summer. Ministers with responsibility for the issue have repeatedly said they cannot shelve the decision.
 
In its recommendation, the panel said the government needed to “listen thoroughly to the diverse opinions of relevant parties” before making the decision. Government sources have said it will look into doing so, but it is unclear how those opinions would affect the decision.
 

 

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Rally opposes proposal for Fukushima radioactive wastewater

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July 12, 2020

Dozens of young people in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture have rallied against a government panel’s proposal on how to dispose of radioactive wastewater stored at the crippled Daiichi nuclear power plant.

About 50 people, including fisheries workers, marched through Koriyama City on Sunday.

The demonstration was organized by a group of Fukushima residents in their 20s and 30s, who said detrimental rumors about the prefecture may circulate if the wastewater is disposed of improperly.

Group representative Sato Taiga said a survey shows that most respondents do not know about the issue. He added that he hopes the group’s activities will raise awareness among people, including the younger generation.

Water used to cool molten nuclear fuel from the 2011 accident at the plant has most of the radioactive materials removed before being stored in tanks. But the treated water still contains tritium and some other radioactive substances.

The amount stored has reached some 1.2 million tons. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, expects to reach capacity around the summer of 2022.

In February, a government panel compiled a report that says a realistic solution is releasing the wastewater into the sea or air after diluting it in compliance with environmental and other standards.

The government is in the process of hearing opinions from local governments and relevant organizations before making its final decision on how to dispose of the treated water.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200713_04/

July 16, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear waste decision also a human rights issue

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By Baskut Tuncak

July 8, 2020

In a matter of weeks, the government of Japan will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world how much it values protecting human rights and the environment and to meet its international obligations.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, myself and other U.N. special rapporteurs consistently raised concerns about the approaches taken by the government of Japan. We have been concerned that raising of “acceptable limits” of radiation exposure to urge resettlement violated the government’s human rights obligations to children.

We have been concerned of the possible exploitation of migrants and the poor for radioactive decontamination work. Our most recent concern is how the government used the COVID-19 crisis to dramatically accelerate its timeline for deciding whether to dump radioactive wastewater accumulating at Fukushima Daiichi in the ocean.

Setting aside the duties incumbent on Japan to consult and protect under international law, it saddens me to think that a country that has suffered the horrors of being the only country on which not one but two nuclear bombs were dropped during war, would continue on a such a path in dealing with the radioactive aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

 

kjlkmùBaskut Tuncak

 

Releasing the toxic wastewater collected from the Fukushima nuclear plant would be, without question, a terrible blow to the livelihood of local fishermen. Regardless of the health and environmental risks, the reputational damage would be irreparable, an invisible and permanent scar upon local seafood. No amount of money can replace the loss of culture and dignity that accompany this traditional way of life for these communities.

The communities of Fukushima, so devastated by the tragic events of March 11, 2011, have in recent weeks expressed their concerns and opposition to the discharge of the contaminated water into their environment. It is their human right to an environment that allows for living a life in dignity, to enjoy their culture, and to not be exposed deliberately to additional radioactive contamination. Those rights should be fully respected and not be disregarded by the government in Tokyo.

The discharge of nuclear waste to the ocean could damage Japan’s international relations. Neighboring countries are already concerned about the release of large volumes of radioactive tritium and other contaminants in the wastewater.

Japan has a duty under international law to prevent transboundary environmental harm. More specifically, under the London Convention, Japan has an obligation to take precaution with the respect to the dumping of waste in the ocean. Given the scientific uncertainty of the health and environmental impacts of exposure to low-level radiation, the disposal of this wastewater would be completely inconsistent with the spirit, if not the letter, of this law.

Indigenous peoples have an internationally recognized right to free, prior and informed consent. This includes the disposal of waste in their waters and actions that may contaminate their food. No matter how small the Japanese government believes this contamination will be of their water and food, there is an unquestionable obligation to consult with potentially affected indigenous peoples that it has not met.

The Japanese government has not, and cannot, assure itself of meaningful consultations as required under international human rights law during the current pandemic. There is no justification for such a dramatically accelerated timeline for decision making during the covid-19 crisis. Japan has the physical space to store wastewater for many years.

I have reported annually to the U.N. Human Rights Council for the past six years. Whether the topic was on child rights or worker’s rights, in nearly each and every one of those discussion at the United Nations, the situation of Fukushima Daiichi is raised by concerned observers for the world to hear. Intervening organizations have pleaded year-after-year for the Japanese government to extend an invitation to visit so I can offer recommendations to improve the situation. I regret that my mandate is coming to an end without such an opportunity despite my repeated requests to visit and assess the situation.

The disaster of 2011 cannot be undone. However, Japan still has an opportunity to minimize the damage. In my view, there are grave risks to the livelihoods of fishermen in Japan and also to its international reputation. Again, I urge the Japanese government to think twice about its legacy: as a true champion of human rights and the environment, or not.

(Baskut Tuncak has served as U.N. special rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes since 2014.)

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/07/1145e5b3970f-opinion-fukushima-nuclear-waste-decision-also-a-human-rights-issue.html?fbclid=IwAR25F0Q5qzhv3G0MB6vHUMRRMs2fxNWyDJQswvFq_vfxFmcG_s_eELqDNFI

 

 

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Korean gov’t inactive over Japan’s plan to discharge radioactive water into Pacific

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Storage tanks for radioactive water are seen at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Nov. 13. A body of experts, Monday, proposed discharging the water into the Pacific Ocean or evaporating it, and the Japanese government is likely to accept one of the options.
December 24, 2019
Korea’s government remains idle while Japan makes plans to release radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean.
 
Multiple government organizations here related to the issue are passing the buck to one another, with each saying it is not in charge of the matter.
 
On Monday, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry revealed a draft of an experts’ report on possible ways for it to deal with more than 1 million tons of contaminated water stored at the nuclear plant following the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 ― to discharge it into the ocean, evaporate it into the air or a combination of the two methods. The trade ministry will soon make a final decision after reviewing the draft.
 
These three ways are the most hazardous ― and at the same time cheapest ― options for the Japanese government to “manage” the contaminated material, according to Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at the German branch of Greenpeace.
 
Environmental groups both in Korea and Japan have also opposed the idea of discharging the water into the ocean, suggesting this action will not only have a devastating effect on marine life in the immediate region but also around the Pacific Rim.
 
However, related government bodies here have neither taken action in response to the report nor made any official announcements to clarify their positions.
 
Both Korea’s Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said they are not the ministries responsible for the issue. The environment ministry’s account contradicted what Environment Minister Cho Myung-rae said in early September, that he would do his best to ensure his Japanese counterpart will not discharge contaminated water into the ocean.
 
“As the environment ministry is in charge of the issue of fine dust coming from China, it should play an active role in the Fukushima water contamination issue as well,” Cho told reporters at the time.
 
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, which both the environment and fishery ministries pointed to as the main government body to deal with the issue, said it has not held any meetings to discuss Japan’s recent report.
 
The Office for Government Policy Coordination under the Prime Minister’s Secretariat said an official in charge of the matter went is on vacation and there is no one else to talk to about the issue.
 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs only repeated the same stance over the issue, saying it is confirming the facts with its Japanese counterpart about the draft report and it will put top priority on the people’s safety and cooperate with related government bodies and overseas organizations in solving the issue.
 
Contrary to the government’s inaction, civic groups reacted quickly.
 
Greenpeace released a statement, Monday, saying “there is no justification for additional, deliberate radioactive pollution of the marine environment or atmosphere.”
 
“Any decision to discharge over 1 million tons of highly radioactive water in the Pacific or into the atmosphere is clearly a direct concern to the people of Fukushima, including fisheries,” it said. “However, this is not just a domestic issue and the government of Japan must explain to the international community including its nearest neighbors in Asia why it advocates for discharging the water into the Pacific Ocean or releasing it into the atmosphere while failing to develop alternative solutions.”
 
Earlier in August, Burnie said in his column published in the Korean edition of The Economist that, as Japan’s closest neighbor, Korea’s marine life and ecosystem in its territorial waters and eventually the people themselves will be influenced directly by the radioactivity.
 
Ahn Jae-hun, energy team manager at Korea Federation for Environmental Movements, said the Japanese government is moving to dispose of the contaminated water via the easiest and cheapest method.
 
“We cannot forecast how much more contaminated water will be produced from the nuclear plant. If it really is discharged, it will affect the waters of neighboring countries. Once contaminated, restoring the water quality is difficult,” Ahn said. “The discharge is entirely inappropriate.”

December 30, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan Considering Dumping Toxic Fukushima Water Into Ocean

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December 24, 2019
​The country’s economy and industry ministry proposed gradually dumping the contaminated water into the Pacific ocean and/or evaporating it.
Japan is considering releasing the radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the environment.
On Monday, the country’s economy and industry ministry proposed gradually dumping more than 1 million tons of contaminated water into the Pacific ocean, and/or allowing it to evaporate. The ministry said pouring the water into the sea was the best option, as it would “stably dilute and disperse” the water and could be properly monitored.
The ministry’s comments come nearly nine years after an earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan, causing meltdowns at three reactors at the Fukushima plant. The plant’s operator has been collecting and storing the radioactive water since then, but said earlier this year it’s running out of space. The company says it’s been treating the water to remove most of the radioactive elements and should be safe enough to dump into the ocean. And experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency, who have inspected the Fukushima plant, also support the controlled release of the filtered water into the sea as the only realistic solution.
But some critics argue the option would ruin Fukushima’s fishing and agriculture industries, which are still reeling from the effects of the nearly decade-old incident.
Nothing is set in stone yet for how the country will dispose of the water, but Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s cabinet will make the final decision.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Officials Propose Releasing Water From the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Into the Environment

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A facility at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma is seen in Fukushima, Japan, on Oct. 2, 2019.
By Mari Yamaguchi / AP
December 23, 2019
(TOKYO) — Japan’s economy and industry ministry has proposed gradually releasing or allowing to evaporate massive amounts of treated but still radioactive water at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.
The proposal made Monday to a body of experts is the first time the ministry has narrowed down the options available to just releasing the water. It is meant to tackle a huge headache for the plant’s operator as storage space runs out, despite fears of a backlash from the public.
Nearly nine years after the 2011 triple meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi, the radioactive water is still accumulating as the water is needed to keep the cores cooled and minimize leaks from the damaged reactors.
For years, a government panel has been discussing ways to handle the crisis and to reassure fishermen and residents who fear potential health impacts from releasing the radioactive water as well as harm to the region’s image.
In Monday’s draft proposal, the ministry suggests a controlled release of the water into the Pacific, allowing the water to evaporate, or a combination of the two methods.
The ministry said a controlled release into the sea was the best option because it would “stably dilute and disperse” the water from the plant using a method endorsed by the United Nations’ Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. It also would facilitate monitoring of radiation levels in the environment.
Releasing the entire amount of water over one year would only increase radiation levels to thousands of times less than the impact humans usually get from the natural environment.
In the proposal, the ministry noted that evaporation has been a tested and proven method following the 1979 core meltdown at Three Mile Island, where it took two years to get rid of 87,000 tons of tritium water.
The government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., have been unable to get rid of the more than 1 million tons of radioactive water that has been treated and stored due to opposition from local fishermen and residents fearing further damage to Fukushima’s reputation and recovery. The utility has managed to cut down the volume of water by pumping up groundwater from upstream and installing a costly underground “ice wall” around the reactor buildings to keep the water from running into the area.
TEPCO says it has space to store only up to 1.37 million tons and only until the summer of 2022, raising speculation that the water may be released after the Tokyo Olympics next summer. TEPCO and experts say the tanks get in the way of decommissioning work and that they need to free up the space to build storage for debris removed and other radioactive materials. The tanks also could spill out their contents in a major earthquake, tsunami or flood.
Experts, including those at the International Atomic Energy Agency who have inspected the Fukushima plant, say the controlled release of the water into the ocean is the only realistic option, though it will take decades.
A government panel earlier compiled a report that listed five options, including releasing the water into the sea and evaporation. The three others included underground burial and an injection into offshore deep geological layers.
The panel has also discussed possibly storing the radioactive water in large industrial tanks outside the plant, but the ministry proposal ruled that out, citing risks of leakage in case of corrosion, tsunamis or other disasters and accidents, as well as the technical challenge of transporting the water elsewhere.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s contaminated water is an issue affecting all of humanity

An ocean dump could lead to a global ecological disaster

601575177786An image of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, including storage tanks for contaminated water, taken by Greenpeace campaigner and Swedish photographer Christian Aslund on Oct. 16, 2018.

December 1, 2019

As the possibility of Japan dumping contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean has been raised, concerns are being voiced on the Korean Peninsula and through various international organizations. Obviously, it is South Korea that is leading the efforts at international coordination in organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Maritime Organization (IMO), and World Health Organization (WHO).

The biggest issue that stands to arise if the contaminated water is dumped into the ocean is the major impact on the marine environment in the Western Pacific and the health of residents in the region, and South Korea is the closest neighbor to Japan.

In a recent piece published in the UK’s The Economist, Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace Germany warned that if Japan dumped the water into the pacific, radioactive material will begin flowing into the East Sea within a year. As Japan’s closest neighbor, South Korea has maintained that it has a right to sufficiently discuss the potential environmental threat and demand related information. During a South Korean parliamentary audit, expressions of concern about the Fukushima water release were coupled with demands for response measures to be put in place.

Unfortunately, these messages and warnings are not being expressed as part of a system of guidance and cooperation to permit a fundamental resolution. Rather, they amount more to a form of pressure within international discourse, which runs the risk of being shrugged off with pro forma logic. The predictions that radioactive material will begin washing into the East Sea within a year could change with the actual amounts and concentrations of water dumped; in the absence of real announced concentrations of inflowing contaminants, it does nothing more than to raise a threat.

More than the fact of the inflows over the year after release, we need to be aware that there are migrating species that could enter the waters near South Korea at any time. Also, what is to be done about the destruction to the marine ecosystem or the marine life that is being fished in the Pacific by the different countries? The result would be a disaster for humankind. We need a more in-depth and scientific examination to identify a disposal plan that allays the concerns of Japan’s neighbors as well as those of Japanese civil society and fishers, who are the ones suffering the ill effects first hand.

Plans for handling marine contaminants fall into five main categories. The first involves controlling the source. The most basic means of resolution is to replace materials and production processes and ban production and consumption to ensure that contaminants are not released in the first place. The second involves recirculation and reuse. This means either re-circulating contaminants through nature or reusing them for other purposes. The third involves storing the contaminants. In cases where no disposal method has yet been developed and reuse is not an option, the approach has been to contain and process them at a safe distance from areas of human activity.

The fourth involves controlling contamination through a regional quota system. This means applying different standards for management depending on the uses of particular waters; in South Korea’s case, marine protected areas and special management areas fall into this category. The last approach is contamination control through taxation. Under such a system, penalties are imposed in cases where contamination is unavoidable; as a rule, the party responsible bears the costs for compensation and restoration.
301575177857Lee Suk-mo, professor of ecological engineering at Pukyong National University

An ocean dump from a nuclear power plant at the current level, without any international regulations in place, would be utterly unacceptable and an affront to environmental justice for humanity today and future generations. Radioactive material decays naturally; if set apart and stored, it goes away naturally over time. But because of issues concerning time and space, this is not an economical approach, and new and effective disposal technology could be developed while it is being stored.

This is why the nuclear power plant water issue is something that should be approached as an issue affecting all of humanity, rather than one restricted to Fukushima and Japan. In particular, neighbors and countries possessing nuclear power plants of their own should make it a priority to cooperate fully in technological and economic terms.

Human disasters may start in one country, but it is through international cooperation that a country’s disaster can be resolved.

By Lee Suk-mo, professor of ecological engineering at Pukyong National University

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/919137.html

December 2, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea nuclear regulator wants information on radioactive Fukushima water release

hjjmmlù.jpgA geiger counter measures a radiation level of 54.0 microsievert per hour near the No.2 and No.3 reactor buildings at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan February 18, 2019

November 20, 2019

SEOUL (Reuters) – Japan’s reluctance to disclose information about the release of radioactive water from its damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is hampering neighboring countries’ efforts to minimize the impact, the head of South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday.

Since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at some of the reactors the Fukushima plant, owner Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has been storing radioactive water in tanks at the site from the cooling pipes used to keep the fuel cores from melting. The utility will run out of space for the water in 2022.

Japan has not yet decided how to deal with the contaminated water, but its environment minister said in September that radioactive water would have to be released from the site into the Pacific Ocean.

“We have been raising Japan’s radioactive water issue to the international community to minimize the impact … but as Japan hasn’t disclosed any specific plan and process we would need more details to run simulations and study,” Uhm Jae-sik, chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, told Reuters.

In addition to the Fukushima crisis, safety concerns about nuclear energy have increased in South Korea following a 2012 scandal over the supply of faulty reactors parts with forged documents, prompting a series of shutdowns of nuclear reactors.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power, targets a long-term phase out of atomic power to allay public concerns.

“Regardless of the government’s energy policy change, our primary goal is ensuring the safety of nuclear power,” Uhm said.

South Korea operates 25 nuclear reactors, which generate about a third of the country’s total electricity. Of the 25 reactors, 10 are offline for maintenance, according to the website of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.

(This story corrects the word “specific” to clarify meaning in translated quote in paragraph 4)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-nuclear/south-korea-nuclear-regulator-wants-information-on-radioactive-fukushima-water-release-idUSKBN1XU0N8

November 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima operator accused of cover-up over ‘contaminated’ water set to be poured into the Pacific

kjlm.jpgFukushima Dai-ichi operator Tepco said that concerns over security prevented independent testing of the water being stored in vast tanks

Fukushima operator accused of cover-up over ‘contaminated’ water set to be poured into the Pacific

19 November 2019

The Japanese government has been accused of a cover-up after it refused to allow independent testing of water from the Fukushima power plant that is likely to be released into the Pacific Ocean.

Officials at the industry ministry on Monday said the water stored at the crippled nuclear site was “safe” to release into the Pacific Ocean, despite concerns about radioactive material from environmental and citizens’ groups.

Following a recent visit to the plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) told The Telegraph that concerns over security prevented independent testing.

“Other organisations are not permitted to carry out tests of the water”, Hideki Yagi, a spokesman for Tepco, told The Telegraph.

“If we are going to allow external organisations to test the treated water then we would need to go through very strict procedures and due process because that water is contaminated. If it is taken outside this facility, then there need to be strict regulations”.

Both Greenpeace and the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre (Cnic), an anti-nuclear lobbying group, suggested that Tepco may be trying to cover up the true scale of contamination of water stores at the site.

Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist for Greenpeace, says the refusal to permit third-party testing only serves to raise new concerns about plans to discharge the water into the ocean.

“Moving nuclear material always carries risk, but for the purpose of independent analysis it would be justified”, he said. “Tepco has lost trust across society in Japan as well as in the international community, including in South Korea, and providing samples for analysis would be in their best interests – unless they are covering something up.

“There are many questions about the effectiveness of Tepco’s … technology so providing samples that could verify their reports on content would go some way to demonstrating their commitment to transparency”, Mr Burnie added.

“It won’t remove doubts that they are covering up major issues at the site – but would be an improvement on the current situation”.

Hideyuki Ban, co-director of Cnic, said: “There would need to be lots of checks because there is a lot of water, but right now it looks very much to the outside world that they are trying to cover something up – as they have a long history of doing – and it would be very much in their best interests to be transparent on this.

“If they don’t, how will they ever get back any of the public trust that they have lost completely since the accident?” Mr Ban said.

During a recent visit to the plant, Tepco officials told The Telegraph that a decision on how to dispose of the water must be made soon as tanks at the site are already near capacity and there is limited space to construct new storage facilities. The company estimates that capacity will be reached in the summer of 2022.

The industry ministry on Monday told a government committee considering methods to dispose of the more than a million tons of water presently being stored in hundreds of tanks at the site that the risk to humans associated with releasing the water into the ocean would be “small”.

Discharging the water into the Pacific over the course of a year would amount to between just one-1,600th and one-40,000th of the radiation to which humans are naturally exposed, the ministry officials told the committee.

Estimates indicate that annual radiation levels near the release point after a release would be between 0.052 and 0.62 microsieverts at sea, the officials said, and 1.3 microsieverts in the atmosphere. That compares with around 2,100 microsieverts that humans come into contact with each year in everyday life.

The ministry how emphasised that no final decision has been reached on how or when the water will be disposed of.

The water became contaminated with radiation when it was used to cool three of the six reactors at the plant that suffered melt-downs after being damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Ground water is also seeping into the basement levels of the reactor buildings, with an additional 120 tons of water accumulating every day.

Tepco was forced to admit earlier this year that efforts to remove varying amounts of 62 radionuclides – including strontium, iodine, caesium and cobalt – from the water through the ALPS equipment had not been completely successful.

Officials of the company have added that testing of the water is presently carried out by Tokyo Power Technology Ltd, which it claims has advanced analytical skills and “very high” reliability. Tokyo Power Technology is a subsidiary of Tepco that was set up two years after the Fukushima disaster.

Monitoring is also conducted by the government-funded Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the Japan Chemical Analysis Centre.

Azby Brown, lead researcher for Tokyo-based monitoring organisation Safecast Japan, a group that monitors radiation, said the lack of transparency means the risks to marine life of releasing the water are relatively unknown.

“We don’t have enough data to evaluate the impact that any release with those concentrations will have on marine life,” he said.

“The expected doses that they are talking about are quite low and therefore the amount of radiation that is absorbed into marine life and then into humans when they eat fish would also be quite low.

“But that has to be full of caveats because the way that information has been presented is confusing and not transparent so ordinary people do not understand and cannot make informed decisions.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/11/19/fukushima-accused-cover-up-contaminated-water-set-poured-pacific/

fhj.jpgTepco has been accused of shielding up the trusty scale of contamination of water stores at the positioning

Fukushima accused of cover-up over ‘contaminated’ water set to be poured into the Pacific

November 19, 2019

The Eastern authorities has been accused of a quilt up after it refused to enable honest checking out of water from the Fukushima vitality plant that is doubtless to be launched into the Pacific Ocean.

Officers at the industry ministry on Monday said the water saved at the crippled nuclear plan used to be “capable” to release into the Pacific ocean, despite concerns about radioactive cloth from environmental and citizens’ groups.

Following a most modern consult with to the plant, the Tokyo Electrical Energy Co (Tepco) instructed The Telegraph that concerns over security prevented honest checking out.

“Assorted organisations are now not permitted to internet exams of the water”, Hideki Yagi, a spokesman for Tepco, instructed The Telegraph.

“If we’ll enable exterior organisations to take a look at the treated water then we would deserve to struggle thru very strict procedures and due route of because that water is rotten. If it is taken originate air this facility, then there wish to be strict rules”.

The corporate estimates water storage ability will seemingly be reached within the summer season of 2022

Both Greenpeace and the Electorate’ Nuclear Files Centre (Cnic), an anti-nuclear lobbying community, instructed that Tepco might perhaps well perhaps be attempting to quilt up trusty scale of contamination of water stores at the positioning.

Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist for Greenpeace, says the refusal to permit third-internet collectively checking out only serves to fetch unique concerns about plans to discharge the water into the ocean.

“Transferring nuclear cloth repeatedly carries possibility, but for the unbiased of honest diagnosis it might perhaps perhaps truly perhaps be justified”, he said. “TEPCO has misplaced belief across society in Japan moreover within the worldwide community, including in South Korea, and providing samples for diagnosis might perhaps well perhaps be in their most efficient interests – unless they are maintaining something up.

“There are a form of questions regarding the effectiveness of Tepco’s … technology so providing samples that can additionally voice their reports on affirm material would scamper some technique to demonstrating their dedication to transparency”, Mr Burnie added.

“It will additionally now not settle away doubts that they’re maintaining up foremost points at the positioning – but might perhaps well perhaps be an development on the sizzling worry”.

Hideyuki Ban, co-director of Cnic, said: “There would deserve to be tons of assessments because there is a form of water, but decent now it looks to be very powerful to the originate air world that they’re attempting to quilt something up – as they bear a lengthy history of doing – and it might perhaps perhaps truly perhaps be very powerful in their most efficient interests to be clear on this.

“In the occasion that they don’t, how will they ever internet attend any of the general public belief that they bear misplaced fully since the accident?” Mr Ban said.

The tsunami water engulfed the vitality plant

Credit:
AP

During a contemporary consult with to the plant, Tepco officers instructed The Telegraph that a resolution on easy suggestions to internet rid of the water desires to be made rapidly as tanks at the positioning are already advance ability and there’s dinky suppose to create unique storage facilities. The corporate estimates that ability will seemingly be reached within the summer season of 2022.

The industry ministry on Monday instructed a authorities committee brooding about suggestions to internet rid of the higher than 1 million a form of water presently being saved in tons of of tanks at the positioning that the possibility to humans connected to releasing the water into the ocean might perhaps well perhaps be “small”.

Discharging the water into the Pacific over the route of a yr would quantity to between decent one-1,600th and one-40,000th of the radiation to which humans are naturally exposed, the ministry officers instructed the committee.

Estimates conceal that annual radiation phases advance the release level after a release might perhaps well perhaps be between 0.052 and nil.62 microsievert at sea, the officers said, and 1.3 microsieverts within the ambiance. That compares with spherical 2,100 microsieverts that humans reach into contact with each and each yr in everyday lifestyles.

The ministry how emphasised that no final resolution has been reached on how or when the water will seemingly be disposed of.

The water turned rotten with radiation when it used to be used to frosty three of the six reactors at the plant that suffered soften-downs after being broken within the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Ground water is additionally seeping into the basement phases of the reactor buildings, with an further 120 a form of water collecting each and on daily basis.

Tepco used to be compelled to admit earlier this yr that efforts to settle away varying quantities of 62 radionuclides – including strontium, iodine, caesium and cobalt – from the water thru the ALPS instruments had now not been fully a hit.

Officers of the corporate bear added that checking out of the water is presently implemented by Tokyo Energy Technology Ltd, which it claims has evolved analytical expertise and “very high” reliability. Tokyo Energy Technology is a subsidiary of Tepco that used to be arrange two years after the Fukushima catastrophe.

The magnitude 9 earthquake caused a large natural catastrophe

Credit:
EPA

Monitoring is additionally performed by the authorities-funded Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the Japan Chemical Prognosis Centre.

Azby Brown, lead researcher for Tokyo-essentially based totally mostly monitoring organisation Safecast Japan, a community that shows radiation, said the dearth of transparency technique the dangers to marine lifetime of releasing the water are quite unknown.

“We blueprint now not bear ample recordsdata to deem the affect that any release with these concentrations might perhaps well perhaps bear on marine lifestyles”, he said..

“The anticipated doses that they’re talking about are fairly low and attributable to this truth the quantity of radiation that is absorbed into marine lifestyles after which into humans after they eat fish would additionally be fairly low

“Nevertheless that must be paunchy of caveats for the reason that technique that recordsdata has been provided is confusing and now not clear so traditional of us carry out now not understand and might perhaps well perhaps now not assemble instructed decisions.”

https://headlinezpro.com/fukushima-accused-of-cover-up-over-contaminated-water-set-to-be-poured-into-the-pacific/

November 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO estimates tritium volume for disposal from Fukushima plant

Tritium, radioactive hydrogen, is clinically recognized as causing cancer, birth defects and genetic mutation. That should be plastered on the side of nuclear power plants.
safe_image.php.jpg
Storage tanks containing processed but still contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant
November 18, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Holdings Co. on Nov. 18 released for the first time an estimate of the annual disposal amount of radioactive tritium from its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The volume will vary from 27 trillion to 106 trillion becquerel, depending on the commencement date and ending time of the disposal process, according to a report the utility presented to a subcommittee of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
In comparison, a domestic nuclear power plant in operation usually dumps liquid radioactive waste that contains tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, from several hundred billion up to 100 trillion becquerel annually into the ocean, according to the ministry.
In line with the comparison, there will be no health-related problem by being exposed to radiation of the tritium disposed of from the Fukushima plant, the ministry said.
TEPCO made its preliminary calculation in substantiating the impact of the long-term storage of contaminated water.
The estimate set the total amount of tritium contained in the radioactive water stored in the tanks to be 860 trillion becquerel as of January 2020. Four starting dates of the disposal process were set as the beginning of 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2035.
The estimate assumed two ending times for the disposal at the end of 2041 and 2051, based on the progress schedule set by the government and the utility, which predicted the reactor decommissioning to be completed in 30 to 40 years.
The amount of tritium is expected to decay naturally over time. Still, the estimate revealed that the later the starting date is, the more the annual disposal amount will be.
Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, TEPCO has processed and stored a large amount of radiation-contaminated water in tanks on the grounds of the plant.
Even after being treated with a filtering system, the polluted water still contains tritium, which will be released when the water is dumped into the ocean or is disposed of in another manner.
The volume of contaminated water has continued to accumulate from the cooling of melted nuclear fuel debris and underground water pouring in.
TEPCO said that it cannot keep installing more storage tanks for the contaminated water due to space limitations of the site and that all the tanks will be full by around the summer of 2022.
If the disposal process hasn’t begun by then, TEPCO will have to build more storage tanks, exceeding the limit, which will lead to a delay in the construction of other facilities that are necessary for the decommissioning work of the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s METI says it’s ‘safe’ to dump radioactive water from Fukushima nuclear disaster into ocean

safe_image.php.jpg
Tanks storing radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in February
Nov 18, 2019
Japan’s industry ministry said Monday it would be safe to release water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the ocean, stressing that the amount of radiation measured would be very small compared to what humans are naturally exposed to annually.
Discharging the water into the Pacific Ocean over the course of a year would amount to between just one-1,600th and one-40,000th of the radiation that humans are naturally exposed to, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry told a government subcommittee on the issue.
Water used to cool the melted-down cores and groundwater near the disabled plant contains some radioactive materials, and is currently being collected and stored in tanks on the plant grounds.
But space is running out fast, and the government is exploring ways to deal with the water — already more than 100 tons and increasing every day.
According to the ministry, annual radiation levels near the release point is estimated at between 0.052 and 0.62 microsievert at sea and 1.3 microsieverts in the atmosphere, compared with the 2,100 microsieverts that humans are naturally exposed to annually.
While government officials stress the safety of releasing the water, opposition lawmakers as well as neighboring South Korea have expressed concern. Local fishermen are also opposed to the release of the water into the sea, fearing the potential impact on fish stocks.
The water is being treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, though the system does not remove the relatively nontoxic tritium and has been found to leave small amounts of other radioactive materials.
The tanks storing the water are expected to become full by the summer of 2022, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The plant was disabled by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011.
A nuclear expert from the International Atomic Energy Agency said in 2018 that a controlled discharge of such contaminated water “is something which is applied in many nuclear facilities, so it is not something that is new.”

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Korea brings up Fukushima’s radioactive water disposal issue at WHO

6600_6606_3839.jpg
October 15, 2019
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said that it conveyed the Korean government’s concerns over radioactive water disposal at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, during the 70th World Health Organization’s West Pacific Regional Conference.
Kang Dae-tae, assistant minister for the Planning and Coordination Office at the ministry and chief representative of the regional meeting, expressed concern about the handling of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and urged the Japanese government and international agencies to respond with care.
“Disposing of radioactive water into the sea is not just a problem for Japan but an international issue that can have a significant impact on the marine environment of the Western Pacific region and the health of its people,” Kang said. “The WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, along with relevant international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has to minimize the impact on the health of the residents of the region.”
Kang urged the international bodies to disclose relevant information transparently so that there is no unnecessary anxiety when Japan decides on how to dispose of the contaminated water.
In response to Korea’s concerns, the Japanese health ministry officials said that they have made efforts to share information and clean up contaminated water, but have not currently decided on how to deal with Fukushima’s contaminated water.
The Japanese officials also noted that the decision to discharge the radioactive waters would be made under international standards such as the International Radiation Protection Committee.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is now sitting on a million-ton of water contaminated with radioactive elements while the amount grows around 150 tons a day.
While the Japanese government has claimed that it has removed most of the radioactive isotopes using an elaborate filtration process, it could not eliminate one isotope, tritium, so it has been storing the water in large tanks, which will fill up by 2022.
Some scientists have claimed that tritium causes harm to humans except in very high concentrations, and the IAEA also argues that properly filtered Fukushima water could be diluted with seawater and then safely released into the ocean without causing environmental problems.
However, other experts have claimed that even the diluted version of tritium can affect cell structures in plants, animals, or humans. The consensus of dumping the water into the Pacific Ocean also faces fierce backlash from both the Japanese fisherman groups and the Korean government, they said.

October 20, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment