Fukushima: China retaliates as Japan releases treated nuclear water

Fukushima: China retaliates as Japan releases treated nuclear water

Recently, Japan will release 1.34 million tonnes of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean after 12 years.

It may be noted that this plant was hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded in a final report in July 2023 that if the water was released as designed, there would be negligible effects on the environment and human health. The plan will be executed by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the nuclear plant.

The Fukushima plant is located on the east coast of the country. This site is located about 220 kilometers north-east of the capital Tokyo.

Japan claims that it has used an ‘Advanced Liquid Processing System’ (ALPS) to treat stored water. ALPS is a pumping and filtration system. It removes most radioactive substances from water except tritium. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It is very difficult to separate it from water.

Concerns related to Water release:

  • DNA can be damaged if this water containing tritium reaches the body.
  • Exposure to radioactive substances can cause health problems like leukemia, anemia, bleeding, etc.
  • This water can destroy the nutrients present in the soil.
  • The release of waste water can pollute the ocean, which can lead to an increase in the cost of salt and seafood.
  • China has banned seafood imports from Japan including Fukushima and Tokyo.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

IAEA is an intergovernmental organization. It was established in 1957. Its purpose is to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to prohibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.

Source – Indian Express

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