Japan’s PM Will Discharge Fukushima Plant Water on August 24
22 August, 2023 | Vishakha Ahuja
Japan's PM Kishida: Fukushima's treated radioactive water to be released into the sea from Thursday
According to Kyodo News, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Tuesday that his nation will start dumping cleaned radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea on Thursday, despite worries from nearby fishermen and continuous objections from China.
The controversial choice was made at a government meeting on Tuesday morning as a result of the substantial amount of water that has accumulated at the site since the nuclear accident in 2011, which was caused by a catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Yoshihide Suga, Kishida’s predecessor, authorized the dumping of water into the Pacific Ocean in April 2021 “in about two years”. The current administration announced in January that the plan would be implemented sometime between “spring to around summer,” as per Kyodo News.
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IAEA determined in July that Japan’s plan satisfies international safety requirements and will have a “negligible radiological impact on people and the environment,” encouraging the government to begin releasing water. While some European countries have loosened import restrictions on Japanese food, China has implemented widespread radiation testing on its neighbor’s seafood exports in an apparent effort to convince Tokyo to drop its proposal, aggravating strained relations.
For years, Beijing has fought the projected water discharge and refused to use the phony scientific name. “treated” to minimize the dangers of the “nuclear-contaminated water,” according to Kyodo News.
The South Korean government has declared that it recognizes the results of the IAEA evaluation based on its analysis of Japan’s plan, but the opposition parties in the country continue to raise concerns about the negative effects of water disposal.
The proposal for the water discharge has been opposed by the local fishermen in their home nation because they believe it will further harm the reputation of their seafood products. They contend that they have already worked tirelessly for years to win back customers’ faith after the initial nuclear disaster.
According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, Kyodo News stated that, due to the fears of the fishing community, the government has decided to release the cleaned water before. September marks the beginning of the trawl fishing season off Fukushima.
To convince fishermen to accept the government’s suggestion, Kishida spoke with the head of Japan’s national fishing organization the day after visiting the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Sunday.
The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations’ Masanobu Sakamoto has persisted in opposing the water discharge, arguing that it will damage the reputation of seafood from Fukushima and the neighboring areas.
During the discussion on Monday, Kishida vowed to keep trying to win the backing of neighborhood fishermen for his administration’s plans to ensure the safety of the water and its countermeasures to potential reputational harm.
To counter negative rumors and assist local fishermen, the government created two funds worth a total of 80 billion yen. These funds aim to manage post-disaster challenges. Over a thousand tanks stored water on-site after the nuclear calamity. Processed by an advanced liquid system, the water can eliminate most radionuclides, except tritium.
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