Fukushima’s Daiichi (Number 1) Nuclear Power Plant has been highlighted previously on this blog. The nuclear accident caused by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 resulted in radioactive leakage into the Pacific Ocean. And recent news is suggesting that the Japanese government has authorized the release of the remaining radioactive water.
According to The Japan Times, the Japanese government plans on releasing the radioactive water stored at the Power Plant into the Pacific ocean. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga wants to put an end to the debate over the water, and the government has determined that discharging it into the sea is the cheapest and fastest way to dispose of it.
The Prime Minister advised the following:
“The treated water’s discharge is an unavoidable issue in the process of decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.”
“Today, we’ve made a decision that releasing the water into the sea is realistic and put together basic policies, on the condition that the government guarantees safety in a way that significantly goes beyond (national and international) standards and does everything it can to implement countermeasures against damage caused by rumors.”
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the plant operator, expects to run out of tank storage by 2022. So preparation for the release will take two years.
Although a draft proposal accepted last year advised that slowly releasing radioactive water into the ocean was feasible, fishing groups and local governments are opposing the decision. Many are concerned that global consumers will shun seafood caught off the coast of Fukushima if the water is released; 15 countries are still enforcing import restrictions on seafood from Japanese districts.
In an official statement, the Chinese foreign ministry argued that the move was “highly irresponsible.”
Despite doubts and opposition from home and abroad, Japan has unilaterally decided to release the Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the sea before exhausting all safe ways of disposal and without fully consulting with neighboring countries and the international community.
As for the disposal process, there are other alternatives. According to Natural News, the President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), Arjun Makhijani, recommended evaporation, the extraction of tritium, or cementing the water.
- Tritium, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen that’s contaminating the water in the power plant, is naturally present in the atmosphere. This would make evaporating the water into the air a possibility.
- Extracting the tritium from the water by isolating it and using it for research purposes is another option.
- Mixing the contaminated water with cement and storing it for up to 80 years could work, which would cause the radioactive elements in the water to decay.
Makhijani did admit that these alternatives are more costly than releasing the contaminated water into the ocean, but they still seem safer.
I will keep you all updated on any new findings.
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: Forbes
Neo, P. (2021, February 23). ‘Nuclear Foods’ progress: Just 15 countries worldwide left still restricting Japanese food from districts stricken by Fukushima disaster. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2021/02/23/Nuclear-foods-progress-Just-15-countries-worldwide-left-still-restricting-Japanese-food-from-districts-stricken-by-Fukushima-disaster
Ramirez, D. (2021, April 12). Japan to dump radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean, says it’s “unavoidable”. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.naturalnews.com/2021-04-12-japan-dump-radioactive-water-into-ocean.html
Tsukimori, O., & Sugiyama, S. (2021, April 13). Government OKs discharge of Fukushima nuclear plant water into sea. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/04/13/national/fukushima-water-release/
Yamaguchi, M. (2020, January 31). Japan panel: Fukushima water release to sea is best option. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://apnews.com/article/b5b31dbbd2bc756b1f5f6770c31dbfa0