Japan’s government announced a decision to begin dumping more than a million tons of treated but still radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in two years.
npr.org April 13, 2021|
The plant was severely damaged in a 2011 magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami that left about 20,000 people in northeast Japan dead or missing.
Despite Tokyo’s assurances that discharging wastewater will not pose a threat to people or the environment, the decision was roundly criticized by the local fishing community, environmental groups and Japan’s neighbors. Within hours of the announcement, protesters rallied outside government offices in Tokyo and Fukushima.
beyondnuclear.org April 13, 2021|
The government says the plan is the best way to dispose of water used to prevent the ruined nuclear plant’s damaged reactor cores from melting.
The New York Times also ran a companion piece, focused on the official international protest of the ocean dumping, as by the neighboring governments of South Korea, China, and Taiwan.
The Washington Post has also reported on this story.
Thom Hartmann interviewed Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps on his national radio show (“Fukushima Nuclear Fish Coming to Your Plate, Happy?”). Here is the write up:
More nuclear waste is about to be released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima. Where it will be absorbed by plants, eaten by small fish, who are eaten by bigger fish, and concentrated through a process called “bioaccumulation.” Pretty soon those fish end up on your plate… Looking forward to a swim off the west coast? Enjoying your fish?
[Corrections: The actual volume of radioactive wastewater to be dumped in the ocean is currently enough to fill around 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools; the dumping is not set to begin until a couple years from now, not before the Tokyo Olympics.]