UNDER THE GHOST OF FUKUSHIMA This photo taken on Feb. 3, 2022 shows a general view of hydrogen storage and supply facilities (background) and solar power generation facilities (foreground) at the research field on Fukushima Hydrogen Power in Namie City, Fukushima Prefecture. Japan’s plan to dump radioactive wastewater from its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean will endanger marine products and further contaminate the ocean, a South Korean environmental activist has said. AFP PHOTO
SEOUL (Reuters) – Japan’s plan to dump radioactive wastewater from its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean will endanger marine products and further contaminate the ocean, a South Korean environmental activist has said.
“Eleven years have passed since the accident at the Fukushima power plant, but its radioactive contamination has not been much reduced,” said Ahn Jae-hun, director of energy and climate change at the Korean Federation for the Environmental Movement, an environmental advocacy group in Seoul. Xinhua recently.
The group’s analysis of 2021 data from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare showed that cesium was detected in 8% of Japanese fish products.
“If radioactive sewage is discharged into the ocean, it will endanger marine products and further aggravate marine contamination.
Contaminated water will inevitably spill into the Pacific Ocean, polluting the oceans of neighboring countries [of Japan]”Ahn said.
The Japanese government planned to discharge about 1.25 million tons of nuclear wastewater into the ocean over a 30-year period starting in 2023.
Japan has claimed that contaminated water can be diluted with water and discharged at a lower concentration, but Ahn said the claim has repeatedly been proven wrong because purification equipment cannot completely eliminate radioactive materials.
The green activist said diluting with water cannot reduce the total amount of contamination, calling discharging irradiated sewage the ‘worst way to solve’ as it can never be recovered after being discharged in the ocean.
“The ocean is not a wastebasket. The international community should urge the Japanese government with one voice to end its irresponsible push for the discharge of contaminated water into the ocean and find more ways safe,” Ahn said.
He added that neighboring countries, including South Korea, may consider forming an advisory body to make concerted efforts to resolve the issue.
South Korea’s new government of President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol, who is due to be sworn in as president on May 10, reportedly plans to deal harshly with Japan’s release of tritium-containing water.
The Yoon government will strengthen radiation checks and the country-of-origin mark of imported marine products while expanding origin labeling in restaurants.
The current government of Moon Jae-in has completely banned the import of marine products caught in Japanese waters near Fukushima Prefecture.