Discharge Of Disinfected Water From Fukushima In The Pacific Ocean Has Begun

Over the next 30 years, more than 1.3 million tons of decontaminated liquids will have to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean.

China protests and blocks the import of seafood products from Japan. The IAEA is trying to calm the passions: the values of radioactive tritium are well below the predetermined limits.

Against the backdrop of international protests and mass demonstrations by the “greens” in Japan, the discharge of disinfected water into the Pacific Ocean, which has so far accumulated in more than a thousand tanks of the closed Fukushima nuclear power plant, has begun, as announced earlier.

The operation, which was decided by the Tokyo government back in 2021 and implemented after a series of visits by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was launched despite protests from the neighboring countries, from environmentalists worried about the possible consequences unfavorable for the natural environment, and from Japanese fishermen who are deeply concerned about the local and international reputation of their products.

According to a spokesman for the Tokyo Energy Company (TEPCO), the designer (1966-1971), and current operator of the nuclear power plant that survived the Fukushima disaster, the first dump will take about 17 days. 7,800 cubic meters of purified water will be released, still containing a significant amount of radioactive tritium that cannot be eliminated using currently available technologies.

In a note from the Foreign Ministry, China condemned the start of the operation to dump the “decontaminated but still very dangerous” waters of Fukushima into the ocean, calling the move “extremely selfish and irresponsible.” China’s General Administration of Customs has banned the import of Japanese seafood.

A much milder reaction followed from South Korea, one of Japan’s closest allies in international politics. South Korean Premier Minister Han Dak-soo simply suggested that Tokyo “transparently” disclose information about the release of contaminated water over the next 30 years, which is the estimated release time of more than 1.3 million tons of decontaminated liquids, mainly used to cool destroyed reactors.

While several thousand representatives of environmental movements gathered in front of the residence of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo to protest, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is the UN body responsible for the delicate task of overseeing the entire operation, tried to calm the passions. The concentration of tritium in Fukushima’s radioactive water released into the ocean is “well below” dangerous limits. “This week, IAEA experts collected water samples prepared for the first spill,” the agency said in a statement. It notes that “an independent analysis carried out on site confirmed that the concentration of radioactive tritium was well below the operating limit of 1,500 becquerels (Bq) per liter.”