Fukushima water to be released into ocean as early as Thursday | The Hill (I hear- Poison the Waters)


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gave final approval Tuesday to begin a plan for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant to release treated and diluted radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean as early as Thursday.

At a cabinet meeting Tuesday, Kishida described the controversial move as an important step in the plant decommissioning and in the Fukushima prefecture’s recovery process after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant’s cooling systems, causing three of the reactors to melt and contaminate the cooling water. 

About 1.34 million tons of the water have now been collected and filtered, and it’s now being stored in about 1,000 tanks. But the tanks are near capacity and will likely be full in early 2024.

The Japanese government, along with the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO), have said if the water is not removed, there are risks of accidental leaks from the tanks. They also must make room for the plant’s decommissioning. Kishida has instructed TEPCO to prepare to begin the process of releasing the filtered water off the coast Thursday, as long as weather and sea conditions allow it. 

At the cabinet meeting, Kishida provided reassurances that the government has done everything it can to ensure the plan’s safety and to explain the science behind their plan. He said the government will continue to push these efforts forward until the decommissioning and water release is finished, which could take decades. Kishida also said the government has tried to protect the reputation of the fishing industry, which it will also continue doing.

Scientists largely support the view that the plan, if conducted as designed, is safe. The Japanese government and TEPCO say the plan is to treat the water and then dilute it with seawater to levels that are safer than the international standards.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) determined in a final report issued in July that the plan, if followed precisely, will cause negligible impact on the environment and on human health. 

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement Tuesday that the U.N. agency office, which opened last month at the plant, will continue working to monitor the release to ensure the water continues to abide by safety standards. Grossi also said the agency will publish information, including real-time monitoring data. 

The government and TEPCO will also publish results of the regular tests of seawater and marine life on their websites.

Still, some questions remain about the long-term effect of low doses of radioactivity in the water. Neighboring countries, too, have responded harshly to this move, expressing concerns about the safety of the seawater. 

South Korea, a key ally, said officials confirmed that Japan intends to discharge the water in accordance to the initial plan, but if it does not, the first vice minister of South Korea’s Office of Government Policy Coordination, Park Ku-yeon, said it would request that Japan stop the discharge of water. Hong Kong and Macau announced they were banning products from Fukushima and nine neighboring prefectures as a result of the Tuesday news, and China moved to increase radiation testing on Japanese fishery products. 


China slams Japan over ‘irresponsible’ Fukushima plan https://www.rt.com/news/581676-china-japan-fukushima-radioactive-water/

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