Japan begins to drain sewage from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. According to the state and the International Atomic Energy Agency, this is responsible, but fishermen, among others, are concerned.
Japan wants to dump 1.3 million tons of sewage. That’s the equivalent of about five hundred Olympic swimming pools. The water is now almost completely free of radioactivity and meets the nuclear agency’s safety standards.
However, there are a lot of protests. In July, dozens of angry protesters greeted the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, at the airport in the South Korean capital, Seoul. Fishermen are concerned about the impact of the water on their catch.
According to the environmental organization Greenpeace, there is still a lot of radioactive material in the water, which was spread over the sea decades ago in this way.
Import bans and additional checks by neighboring countries
The plan has also been criticized in neighboring countries. China, the largest importer of Japanese seafood, is particularly opposed to the dump. A government spokesman had earlier accused Japan of “dumping nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean”.
China even banned food imports from Japan. Hong Kong will be watching Japanese food closely.
Nuclear expert Tony Hooker of the University of Adelaide in Australia dismissed the criticism as alarmist. The water was filtered and the amount of tritium was said to be well below the permissible level. The impact on the environment is “minimal”, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Unloading is necessary because the storage tanks are full
The water was used to cool the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It was hit by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which led to one of the world’s deadliest nuclear accidents ever.
Water tanks are full. Therefore, according to Japan, it is necessary to pour water into the ocean. This would be a maximum of 500,000 liters per day.
Japanse kerncentrale mag meer dan een miljoen ton aan nucleair water lozen
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