Fukushima: ongoing release of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean


By John

The discharge into the ocean of the treated radioactive water contained in the tanks of the Fukushima nuclear power plant began at 13 local time (6 in Italy). The operation follows the announcement by the Tokyo government made earlier this week, despite the protests of neighboring countries for the possible consequences on the environmentand local fishermen concerned about the reputation of their products.

The more than 1,000 tanks distributed at the site of the nuclear plant hit by the triple disaster of March 2011, currently contain approximately 1.34 million tons of treated water, and they are expected to reach their maximum capacity as early as 2024. Hence the decision by the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) which will dilute the liquid with sea water respecting the limits permitted by Japanese safety standards, before starting unloading via an underwater tunnel located one kilometer from the site. Tepco intends to monitor the radioactive substances in the waters near the plant on the same day today and to release the data tomorrow.

Raid on the Japanese embassy in Seoul, 10 arrested

More than ten people have been arrested for attempting to enter the Japanese embassy in Seoul during a demonstration to denounce the Fukushima water discharge into the sea. This was announced by the police to AFP.

China blocks imports of Japanese seafood

Last month the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ruled that the discharge plan is in line with global safety standards and would have a “negligible” impact on people and the environment. A judgment that however does not convince China which has blocked the import of food products from 10 prefectures to Japan and has introduced large-scale radiation tests for Japanese fish products. The South Korean government said it respects the outcome of the IAEA review based on analyzes of the Japanese plan, but will have to consider lingering concerns among the public. The Japan Fisheries Agency said it will monitor the concentration levels of radioactive substances in fish caught within a 10-kilometer radius of the plant, and the initial results are expected to be published on the agency’s website at the earliest on Saturday.