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'Deep concerns' over Japan’s plan to release Fukushima plant water into ocean
Published on: 2021-04-13
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China has raised “deep concerns” with Japan over its planned disposal of treated radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.
 

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Monday that Beijing had through diplomatic channels asked the Japanese government to “adopt a responsible attitude”, noting the environmental and safety impact of the radioactive material that leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant after the devastating 2011 nuclear accident there.
 

“The Japanese side often asks other countries to fulfil their international responsibilities, and right now, the international society is looking at Japan – so Japan cannot turn a blind eye or turn a deaf ear,” he said. “This issue is very significant, so Japan needs to be responsible to the international public interests, which is also being responsible to the Japanese people’s interests.”
 

Japanese ministers are expected to meet on Tuesday to formally decide, after years of discussion, to gradually release the radioactive water stored at the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, local media reported. While the water that has been used to cool melted fuel in the nuclear reactors is treated, the process cannot remove radioactive tritium – a by-product of nuclear reactors – and the planned disposal has raised concerns from Japan’s fishing industry and consumers, as well as from China and South Korea.
 

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said the country needs to decide on the disposal of the water, as the storage tanks at the Fukushima plant are expected to be full by the summer of 2022. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, will also need two years of preparation before it can release the contaminated water, according to Japanese media.
 

Japanese officials have said they were considering various disposal methods for the contaminated water, noting that discharging it into the sea was more realistic while releasing it through water vapour was more difficult. But the issue has been highly controversial, with vocal opposition to its disposal into the ocean by Japanese fishermen, who fear the impact from consumers shunning Japanese seafood over safety concerns.
 

日本单方面决定将福岛核污水排入大海

13日上午,日本政府召开内阁会议,正式决定将东京电力公司福岛第一核电站内储存的核废水排放入海。至今没有从核事故灾害中得到完全恢复的居民和渔业相关人士,对该做法带来的不利影响表示严重担忧。
 

据悉,开始排放前需要大约两年时间开展设备施工。日本方面称,由于核废水中含有以目前技术手段无法去除的放射性物质“氚”,需要用海水稀释后排放。如渔民因负面影响遭受损失,东京电力公司将给予赔偿。

2011年3月11日,日本东北部海域发生强烈地震并触发海啸,东京电力公司运营的福岛第一核电站发生灾难性辐射泄漏,4个核反应堆不同程度受损。东电公司数据显示,截至今年3月,用于冷却核反应堆的辐射废水已达到125万吨。目前,核废水全部储存在核电站的储存罐内,预计到2022年秋季,储存罐容量将会达到极限。
 

关于核废水的处理方法,去年2月,日本政府下设的小委员会提交报告称,最现实的方法就是将其稀释,使放射性物质浓度低于国家标准,而后将其排放入大海或大气中。基于专家的建议,日本政府主要以稀释后排放入海为主进行研讨。
 

含有放射性物质的污水一旦被排入大海会造成什么影响?首先,日本太平洋沿岸海域将受到影响,特别是福岛县周边局部水域,之后污水还会污染东海。一家来自德国的海洋科学研究机构的计算结果显示,从排放之日起,57天内放射性物质就将扩散至太平洋大半区域,3年后美国和加拿大就将遭到核污染影响。

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