Japan will begin releasing over 1 million metric tonnes of treated radioactive water into the sea. The Asian nation will release the treated radioactive water from the ruins of Fukushima nuclear power plant on August 24.
The move is sharply condemned by China. Others who condemned the move include from local fishing groups who are more concerned about their reputation. The decision was approved two years back when the government gave its nod for the purpose of making the plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company, inactive.
Ahead of the release of the water, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “I expect the water release to start on August 24, weather conditions permitting.”
The declaration comes a day after the administration claimed to have gained “a degree of understanding” from the fishing industry about the discharge of the water into the Pacific Ocean, despite the fact that fishing groups claimed they still feared the reputational harm would endanger their way of life.
According to Tepco, the water will be discharged for the first time on Thursday in a total volume of 7,800 cubic metres over the course of around 17 days, in lesser amounts and with more checks.
According to Tepco, the tritium content of that water will be around 190 becquerels per litre, which is less than the 10,000 becquerels per litre drinking water limit set by the World Health Organisation. A radioactivity unit is a becquerel.
According to Japan, the water release is secure. The plan was approved in July by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, who said that it matched international standards and would have “negligible” effects on people and the environment.
According to a study done over the weekend by the Japanese broadcaster FNN, 56% of participants supported the plan while 37% disapproved it.
“The IAEA and many other countries have said it’s safe, so I believe it is. But fishermen are facing so many problems so the Japanese government needs to do something to convince them,” according to Hiroko Hashimoto, a 77-year-old NGO worker.
Despite assurances, other surrounding nations have also voiced doubts about the plan’s security, with Beijing having the most.
The decision was described as “extremely selfish” by Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry. He claimed that China had officially complained about the decision and was quite concerned about it.
China, according to Wang, “will take all necessary measures to protect the marine environment, food safety, and public health,” although he made no explicit mention of any particular steps.
John Lee, the chief executive of Hong Kong, described the discharge as “irresponsible” and declared that the city will “immediately activate” import restrictions on Japanese seafood from the Fukushima region and other areas, including the capital Tokyo, beginning on Thursday.
The restriction would apply to live, frozen, chilled, and dried seafood as well as sea salt and seaweed. Macau will also adopt the restriction.