SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 18 July 2024, Thursday |

Japan begins releasing wastewater from Fukushima nuclear plant: Operator

On Thursday, August 24, Japan initiated the process of releasing wastewater from the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant. The plant’s operator, TEPCO, confirmed this development. A video provided by TEPCO depicted the commencement of the wastewater release.
“Now, valves near the seawater transport pumps are opening,” a TEPCO official said via a video link from the site broadcast at the company’s Tokyo headquarters.

The nuclear plant has been insisting that the release of wastewater is safe but the operation has generated strong reaction from China.
The discharge will release around 540 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of water into the Pacific Ocean. This is a vital step in decommissioning the nuclear plants which saw one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents 12 years ago.

In 2011, the nuclear plant was destroyed after 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami and caused meltdowns of three of its reactors.

On Thursday, TEPCO posted a live video in which engineers were seen sitting behind computer screens.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the UN’s atomic watchdog has endorsed the plan of release of wastewater. The monitors from the IAEA were due to be on site for the procedure. TEPCO workers will take water samples later on Thursday.

The release of wastewater has been a controversial topic. Ahead of the release, there was a small protest near the site and about 100 others protested outside TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo.

‘Like an atomic bomb’
The release of wastewater has been a controversial topic. Ahead of the release, there was a small protest near the site and about 100 others protested outside TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo.

“It’s like dumping an atomic bomb in the ocean. Japan is the first country that was attacked with an atomic bomb in the world, and the prime minister of the country made this decision,” said Kenichi Sato, 68. Sato was quoted by Reuters.

China on Thursday slammed Japan’s plan as “extremely selfish and irresponsible”. Chinese environment ministry has said that it will “track and study” impact of wastewater release on its waters.

Since 2011, TEPCO has collected 1.34 million cubic metres of contaminated water as it cooled down the wrecked reactors.

There are four releases of treated water planned from Thursday until March 2024. First discharge will take about 17 days. In this fiscal year, about 5 trillion becquerels – a measure of radioactivity – of tritium will be released, said TEPCO.

    Source:
  • Wions