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12 Years Later – Japan Forcibly Discharges Fukushima Nuclear Wastewater Despite Global Concerns

Core summary:
1. According to Japanese media reports, the Japanese government will start discharging nuclear wastewater as early as the 24th. According to the calculations of the German Scientific Ocean Institute, within 57 days, the radiation will spread to most of the Pacific Ocean; 3 years later, the United States and Canada will be polluted; 10 years later, it will spread to the global ocean. Among them, South Korea and China will become the countries most seriously affected by nuclear sewage.

2. On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake caused the Fukushima nuclear leak. So far, the nuclear leak has caused genetic mutations and abnormal development of organisms around Fukushima; the radiation of fish in the ocean has greatly exceeded the standard; the proportion of thyroid nodules and cysts in local children in Japan is too high. Some institutions predict that nuclear pollution will cause an increase in cancer and serious diseases in a long period of time.

3. Since the Fukushima nuclear accident, the dismantling of damaged nuclear power plants has continued. Although the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company have claimed that they have been carrying out nuclear sewage treatment, they have repeatedly discharged nuclear sewage secretly, falsely reported the effect of nuclear sewage treatment, and ignored the wastewater treatment plans proposed by Japan and the world. A large number of radioactive elements in nuclear sewage are difficult to deal with, but the Japanese government and Tepco have been trying to obtain the formal discharge of nuclear sewage.

4. The Fukushima nuclear accident is no less than the Chernobyl nuclear accident that occurred in the Soviet Union in the last century. At that time, the Soviet Union carried out effective measures such as digging tunnels, embanking waters, and building protective dikes in a short period of time, successfully protecting local water resources from nuclear leakage pollution. Japan has also proposed many nuclear wastewater treatment plans, but the Japanese government is more willing to “list them out” in order to reduce expenditures on manpower, material resources, and financial resources.

5. The Chinese government has repeatedly opposed the Japanese government’s plan to forcibly discharge nuclear sewage. In July this year, China Customs explicitly ordered the prohibition of importing food from areas affected by nuclear pollution such as Fukushima in Japan; at the same time, it increased the inspection of food from other parts of Japan, especially aquatic products, and stated that it will continue to strengthen the detection and monitoring of radioactive substances strength.

According to the latest report from the Japan Broadcasting Association, at the cabinet meeting on the 22nd, the Kishida government decided that if there were no problems in the preparations, the plan to discharge nuclear contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant would be launched on August 24.

After 12 years of controversy, the Fukushima nuclear nuclear waste water will be discharged into the Pacific Ocean. In the past ten years, it has been “intentionally” leaked several times. Who is the main victim country and region?

After 12 years of accumulation, Fukushima nuclear wastewater will still be discharged into the Pacific Ocean after many rounds of disputes and opposition from many countries!

On August 22, according to NHK reports, the Japanese government decided to discharge the first batch of diluted nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean as early as August 24.

It is worth noting that Japan’s decision to determine the discharge date was made after talks with the leaders of the United States and South Korea. According to CNN, although the Japanese government has long announced plans to finalize the discharge date, in order to avoid angering South Korea, it has been holding back. And it was this tripartite meeting that South Korean President Yoon Suk-yue still acquiesced in spite of domestic opposition, which strengthened Japan’s determination to release emissions.

Since then, Prime Minister Kishida visited the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for two consecutive days on August 20 and 21. He also met with cadres from Tokyo Electric Power Company, Japan National Federation of Fisheries (Janyu Federation) and Fukushima Prefecture Fisheries Federation (Fukushima Fisheries Federation), and explained the safety of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water. However, on the day of Prime Minister Kishida’s visit, the media revealed that the nuclear-contaminated water of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant had leaked in a large area.

As early as May of this year, Tokyo Electric Power Company, which belongs to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, had caught marine fish with excessive radiation in the harbor near the accident site. Tepco stated that the content of radioactive cesium in the captured flat scorpionfish reached 18,000 becquerels per kilogram, 180 times the standard value (100 becquerels per kilogram) stipulated by the Japanese Food Sanitation Law.

In April this year, a herring was also caught at the same location. The radioactive cesium content in its body reached 1,200 becquerels per kilogram, which is 12 times the safe standard value. The media once questioned that the nuclear wastewater in Fukushima was suspected to have been secretly discharged artificially, or flowed out of control into the sea.

And this emission decision made by Japan may trigger an ecological disaster that will affect the whole world!

In March 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake and the accompanying tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and three reactors melted down. To cool the reactor, it must be continuously cooled with cold water. So far, almost the entire Fukushima nuclear power plant has been turned into a water grave of nuclear wastewater. They are placed in airtight 1061 iron jars. TEPCO believes that storage tanks will reach their limit after autumn 2021. On April 13, 2021, the Japanese government officially decided to filter and dilute the Fukushima nuclear sewage and discharge it into the Pacific Ocean. According to the plan of Tokyo Electric Power Company, the discharge of Fukushima nuclear sewage will be officially launched in the summer of 2023. Discussions in Japan on how to deal with tritiated wastewater from cooling have been going on for several years. However, this decision has once again been widely questioned and opposed by the international community, and it has also aroused strong concerns in Japan.

The current plan in Japan is that the nuclear wastewater stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is first processed through an advanced liquid treatment system to remove almost all radioactive substances other than the radioactive element tritium. Tritium is a hydrogen isotope. Because it is difficult to filter, the Japanese side will further dilute the wastewater so that the content of tritium is lower than the standard that affects the environment.

This standard has been endorsed by the United States and believes that there are no nuclear safety issues. A spokesman for the US National Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed that almost all nuclear power plants in the United States discharge water with low levels of radioactivity into the waters where they are located.

TEPCO, the Japanese government and the IAEA jointly believe that tritium occurs naturally in the environment, from rainwater to seawater to tap water, and even in the human body, so it should be safe to release small amounts into the ocean. But the report was immediately opposed in Japan. Kenichi Oshima, a professor at Ryukoku University in Japan, once said: Tokyo Electric Power Company only selected a small part of the polluted water in the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for testing, and without third-party verification, it is difficult to believe the authenticity of its data.

According to a report published in October 2011 by the French Institute for Nuclear Safety (Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire), approximately 27 “PBq” of cesium-137 were released into the sea. This is the largest ever observed release of man-made radioactive material into the sea. The world’s strongest ocean current flows near the coast of Fukushima, transporting sewage as far as the Pacific Ocean, causing a large amount of radioactive material to flow.

Experts who specialize in tracking the discharge of nuclear wastewater in Japan pointed out that once the tritium and other radioactive substances in the nuclear waste water are discharged into the ocean, they will pollute many parts of the world along with ocean currents. Within a month, radioactive material was found throughout the Pacific Ocean. The harm of radioactive substances in nuclear wastewater to human body is undoubtedly huge.

In addition, there are other deadly radioactive substances in the wastewater, which Japan has been hiding. But in 2018, when some nuclear experts tested these nuclear wastewater, they found that many radioactive substances remained in the treated wastewater, such as carbon 14, cobalt 60 and strontium 90. Clearly, TEPCO is lying.

Subsequently, TEPCO caused many accidents in 2013 to discharge nuclear sewage into the Pacific Ocean.

Nuclear expert Shaun Burnie (Shaun Burnie) wrote in The Economist that Japan’s previous discharge of nuclear sewage and the storage of more than 1 million liters of sewage this time will result in the exposure of neighboring countries to radiation. Among them, South Korea will suffer the greatest impact, and Taiwan will also bear the brunt. He claimed that if 1 million tons of radioactive water is discharged into the ocean, it will take 17 years and 770 million tons of water to dilute it. These nuclear sewage will pollute the ocean, and countries in the Pacific region will be exposed to radiation. Fifteen countries and regions are still restricting imports of Japanese agricultural and fishery products for more than a decade after the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. In 2015, although the Japanese government claimed that aquatic products around Fukushima had reached safety standards, people in neighboring countries still had doubts. South Korea and China have imposed import restrictions.

In April 2019, the World Trade Organization still supported South Korea’s import ban and testing requirements on Japanese aquatic products following the Fukushima nuclear power plant radiation leak accident.

Japan’s dumping of nuclear-contaminated water into the Pacific has sparked widespread concern and outrage. Japan’s neighbors, including China and South Korea, will be the first to be heavily polluted, and it will be difficult for Western countries to isolate themselves. As the world’s oceans are connected, sooner or later more countries will be harmed by nuclear wastewater. Japanese local fishermen are worried that this will bring disaster to Japan’s fishery, and almost all countries may stop importing Japanese seafood. This will be a huge blow to Japan. The seafood markets in China and South Korea will also be affected immediately. During the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the domestic seafood market suffered a major blow, and merchants worried that it would be affected again. In addition, it also caused the out-of-stock and panic of iodized salt.

According to Zhang Zili, an associate researcher at the Institute of Electrical Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the media that the wastewater discharged from a nuclear power unit operating under normal conditions can meet the current discharge standards after a series of treatments. However, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is a reactor with a nuclear leakage accident, and the nuclear wastewater produced after its core was melted down is fundamentally different from the nuclear wastewater produced under normal operating conditions.

Most of Asia’s oceans are connected, and many oceans are semi-closed, so pollutants in Fukushima’s water may dissipate and then rise, which will seriously affect the local marine and coastal environment and the health of nearby people. The coastal areas of China, Taiwan, and South Korea will inevitably be polluted by these nuclear wastewaters, and the severity still needs to be monitored.

According to the investigation of nuclear expert Shaun Burnie, it was previously believed that the East China Sea was not seriously polluted by cesium during the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, but a model from Nanjing University in 2018 showed that the amount of cesium from 2011 to the Pacific Ocean Cesium emissions had spread widely into the East China Sea by 2013 and peaked in 2019.

Many radionuclides that will be released into the water have the potential to cause damage to human and non-human DNA. The water treatment method at the Fukushima nuclear power plant does not remove tri or carbon 14, nor does it remove all other radioactive isotopes such as 90 strontium, 129 iodine, 16 cobalt. WHO experts warn that if these radionuclides persist in the environment for a long time, they will gradually enter the food chain.

A few unpublished data about the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Genetic genes exposed to nuclear radiation have appeared, 35% of children suffer from thyroid disease, and nearly 100,000 cancer patients are increasing every year?

On March 11, 2011, a major earthquake struck, triggering a devastating tsunami. This in turn sparked the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The quake, which had a magnitude of 9.0, was one of the strongest ever recorded globally.

The earthquake moved the main island of Honshu, Japan, by 2.40 meters to the east. It is said that even the earth’s axis has shifted by more than ten centimeters due to the earthquake. Deutsche Welle once published several key data about the leakage of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The tsunami caused 18,426 deaths and missing. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant located by the sea was hit by a water wall nearly 15 meters high. The plant’s power generation equipment was flooded and caused the cooling system to fail. Three of the six reactors experienced meltdowns. In the days that followed, there were several hydrogen explosions at reactors 1 and 3.

Immediately after the disaster, the government declared an evacuation zone within a 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Those living in this “no-go area” were ordered to leave the area. Many people in a radius of 20 kilometers also decided to flee. So far, an area of ​​about 337 square kilometers is still designated as a nuclear restricted area.

Japan is under a blanket of radiation from radioactive materials, although the Japanese government believes that the effects of these radioactive materials on people are minimal. But scientists disagree with them.

Eisenberg, a radiation expert from the International Alliance of Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), published a report on genetics disabled by nuclear radiation. He believed that the nuclear radiation leaked from the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused genetic mutations in many local butterflies. Developmental deformities. Once the gray butterfly is sick, it means that there is something wrong with the entire ecological environment system, because after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, a similar situation occurred there.

A study by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) found that 35% of 40,000 children in Japan had thyroid nodules and cysts in their thyroid glands. “Generally speaking, children don’t have it. ” Eisenberg, a pediatrician, thinks this phenomenon is alarming. Eisenberg, along with several colleagues, applied to the Japanese government for access to post-Fukushima birth statistics, but they have so far not been granted permission.

Japan has a tradition of hiding disasters and unfavorable data. This organization believes that the number of cancer patients currently announced in Japan is not a fair and transparent data. He estimates that the outbreak of cancer and other diseases caused by radiation is a long-term process. It is predicted that there will be an increase of nearly 200,000 cancer and serious disease patients.

The scientist worried that nuclear radiation pollution would also lead to an increase in the number of human deformities and diseases. Although the Japanese government has not provided him with any data due to confidentiality reasons.

Where did the nuclear sewage in Fukushima come from? Tokyo Electric Power Company: Is it okay to drink two liters a day?

Ten years after the nuclear accident, the dismantling of damaged nuclear power plants is still progressing slowly and will take at least another 30 to 40 years. Another major problem posed by the nuclear disaster is that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has used tens of thousands of tons of treated water over the years to cool the reactor cores at the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Wastewater from damaged reactors is stored. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has accumulated 1.23 million tons of nuclear sewage, in which the content of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 and other radioactive substances is already quite “dangerous”. However, over time, the space for storing these waste waters is running out.

However, Tepco has been taking various measures to discharge nuclear sewage into the Pacific without permission. It is well documented that in July 2013, radioactive sewage from the nuclear power plant was artificially leaked into the Pacific Ocean in August 2013. Local fishermen and experts from the nuclear watchdog have long suspected that these problems will occur. But TEPCO has firmly denied the existence of this problem. On August 20, another incident occurred in the nuclear power plant, as many as 300 tons of high-radiation concentration sewage leaked from the sewage storage tank. The sewage is enough to endanger the health of nearby employees. The sewage spill accident was rated as the third level in the International Nuclear Event Scale. Later, Tepco claimed that the large amount of radioactive sewage leaked from the water storage tank of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was caused by the deformation of the water storage tank.

Tepco’s prevarication and the tacit consent of the Japanese government have been strongly criticized by the international community. After multiple leaks in 2013, the Japanese government invested 47 billion yen in a plan to stop the sewage leak. Tepco has launched a set of “multi-nuclides decontamination equipment (ALPS)”, which claims to be able to reduce the content of radioactive substances “to a level below the allowable discharge level”. However, the disreputable company admitted in September 2020 that 1,000 water storage tanks used to treat nuclear wastewater had failed to remove radioactive material below legal standards, and up to 80% of that wastewater still remains The concentration of radioactive substances, including strontium-90, a carcinogenic radionuclide, also exceeds the standard , and the water outlet will add 2 tons to 4,000 tons of nuclear sewage every week, which means that basically this problem cannot be solved. completely resolved.

According to Japanese media, TEPCO discovered that this technology was not as expected at least five years ago, but it has been concealing it until September last year, and they originally adopted ALPS based on cost considerations, and did not use the most effective method for radiation pollutants. Way.

Discussions in Japan on how to deal with tritiated wastewater from cooling have been going on for several years. Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kajiyama Hiroshi mentioned that “in order to avoid delays in the decommissioning process of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, decisions need to be made on how to deal with the increasing number of nuclear wastewater.” However, Japanese media believe that TEPCO is not “sincere” in dealing with nuclear wastewater. “Part of it is pumped into special water storage tanks, and the rest is soaked in the reactor.” The issue was raised by Tepco lobbying the government. Insufficient storage space, and another so-called leak in 2013, they cannot be held responsible.

“Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been conducting technical assessments to discharge or manage polluted water. The Ministry’s task force has proposed five methods for treating wastewater and recommending that it be discharged into the ocean,” South Korean environmental protection expert Jang Jae Si once said in The Korea Times said in an interview.

“We have been warning the Japanese government that it may lead to pollutant discharges, but those consequences have been ignored.” For years, the South Korean government has asked the Japanese government to share information on radioactivity levels in Fukushima, but the latter has refused to do so. Do. Radiation levels along the coast here have so far shown little change since 2015.

In the face of public doubts, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, stated that the relevant nuclear wastewater will not pose a threat to human health. A spokesman for the company said in an interview with CNN that the measured carbon-14 concentration in Fukushima nuclear wastewater is between 2 and 220 becquerels per liter. The amount of radioactive substances is only between 0.001 and 0.11 millisieverts, and this dose will not cause damage to human health.”

The spokesperson also said that Tokyo Electric Power Company will conduct secondary treatment on the wastewater to make it “conform to the standards for the discharge of tritium-containing wastewater”, and will also reduce the content of carbon-14 and other radioactive substances in the wastewater as much as possible.

Deuterium (dāo) and tritium (chuān) are both isotopes of hydrogen. Among them, deuterium is very easy to obtain. On average, one deuterium atom can be found in every 6420 hydrogens in seawater. This is also the fuel for nuclear fusion. But tritium is not easy to be decomposed, and the radiation is small, so it can only be discharged into the sea.

How did the Soviets deal with the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident of the same level as the Fukushima nuclear accident ? Why does Japan refuse to learn from it?

In fact, several years ago, nuclear experts suggested that Japan should learn from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and the Soviets’ handling model to deal with issues related to the Fukushima nuclear accident of the same level, including nuclear sewage.

On April 26, 1986, a serious leak occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. At the disaster relief site, Velikhov, an academician of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, judged that the molten nuclear material would infiltrate into the groundwater, the consequences would be disastrous and must be disposed of early. He suggested: install a cold nitrogen injection system under the reactor room to drain the water under the foundation , build a large concrete partition, build artificial cooling pipes at the same time, and install flat-plate exchangers on the partition.

More than 10,000 volunteers among the Soviet miners dug the tunnel in 45 days . At the same time, tens of thousands of officers and soldiers of the Ministry of Defense built dikes in the water area of ​​the accident area, and built 130 dikes on a land of 1,500 square kilometers. To this day, the water quality of the Pribia River and the Dnieper River still meet the standards, which also protects Ukraine and the whole of Europe.

But Japan has hardly seen this template for accident handling. The well-known nuclear expert Burni said that if Japan uses a similar model, at least 80% of the nuclear sewage can be treated well, and it will not leak and cause an irreversible nuclear disaster.

It is not that there are no experts in Japan who have proposed this similar motion.

A number of environmental groups such as Japan’s FoE Japan submitted signatures to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry a few years ago, asking for different treatment methods, such as keeping them in storage tanks or curing them with cement. A total of 64,000 signatures were submitted.

But the Japanese government ignored this suggestion from the very beginning, because it would cost more money and manpower than arranging them all. Compared with making this wrong decision, the cabinet came out and bowed again, which is nothing at all.

Mitsuka Mitsuta, Director of FoE Japan, criticized the Japanese government, “This is a rough decision without sufficient discussion. It will bring irreversible disasters to mankind.”

China has clearly opposed Japan’s plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the sea on many occasions. On August 9 this year, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that China has always opposed Japan’s forcible discharge of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean and passing on the risk of nuclear pollution to the world. The Japanese government should fulfill its due moral responsibilities and international legal obligations, stop forcing the sea discharge plan, dispose of the Fukushima nuclear polluted water in a truly responsible manner, in a safe and effective manner, and accept strict international supervision, so as to avoid harming the global marine ecology and society. irreparable damage to human health.

In July this year, in order to prevent the export of radioactively contaminated Japanese food to China, the Chinese Customs ordered a ban on the import of food from 10 prefectures (capitals) including Fukushima, Japan. Review the attached supporting documents, strictly implement 100% inspection, and continue to strengthen the detection and monitoring of radioactive substances.

When Japan releases water, neighboring countries suffer. The most unpredictable ecological disaster in history may have happened!

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