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Japan To Dump Radioactive Water In The Pacific Ocean

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

The Japanese government recently announced plans of dumping more than 1 million cubic meters of treated radioactive water, (which is enough to fill 400 Olympic sized swimming pools) from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean; setting it on a collision course with local fishermen who say this move would destroy their industry. The government was on the brink of formally approving the release last October, but the plan was pushed back after facing strong opposition from local fishers and the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations.


The nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power estimates that all of the available tanks will be full by the summer of 2022. The storage space at the nuclear plant site is also running out of room. The release of the treated water containing radioactive tritium is said to pose little danger to human health.


Environmental groups oppose this move, while the neighboring country South Korea, which has banned imports of seafood from the Japanese region, has repeatedly voiced concern, claiming that discharging the water represented a ”grave threat” to the marine environment.


The Japanese government is considering releasing water in small quantities at a time into the Pacific off Fukushima Prefecture over a period of about 30 years, after diluting the concentration of tritium to about one-fortieth of the maximum set out by national standards. It says the move is not expected to impact human health.


The Japanese officials have apologized for taking this step, but they say they have put off the unavoidable for too long. The dumping is part of Japan's $200 billion effort to clean up the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl.

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