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News > Japan

Japan's Nuclear-Contaminated Water Disposal Plan is Harmful: Dundar

  • South Korean activists protest against Japan’s plan to discharge radioactive water into the sea, 2022.

    South Korean activists protest against Japan’s plan to discharge radioactive water into the sea, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @TRTWorldNow

Published 5 March 2023 (6 hours 3 minutes ago)

The Japanese government announced that it will release radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi plant into the Pacific Ocean.

The Japanese government's announcement to discharge Fukushima nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the sea has caused concerns across the world, a prominent Turkish expert on the Asia Pacific region has said recently.


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"That is not something that will harm only Japan or the surrounding environment, but it is an action that concerns the whole world," said Merthan Dundar, director of Ankara University Asia-Pacific Studies Application and Research Center.

The Japanese government announced in January that it would release radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean in the spring or summer this year.

The spillage of contaminated material could largely affect fisheries and marine life, the scholar said, adding that "in the globalized world, people eat fish caught in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It seems that this will create a problem for all humanity." 

Although some experts said that the water would be cleaned by the Advanced Liquid Processing System, Dundar is especially worried that some substances, such as tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen present in the Fukushima wastewater, would decay easily.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent a technical task force to Japan in January to review Japan's disposing plan, and a report would be published within three months. However, Japan unilaterally announced the disposing plan before the visit of the IAEA's technical task force.

"Such reckless behavior raises questions about whether Japan values the authority of the IAEA and its technical task force. Is Japan determined to proceed with its unilateral discharge plan regardless of the outcome of the assessment?" a Chinese diplomate said.

Dundar also expressed his concern over the period of the disposing process, which will continue for as long as 30 years, according to the Japanese government.

"So they won't drain all the water in two years. It will be gradually released to this sea in 30 to 40 years... I am frankly worried," he said, calling on all countries to be involved in the Japan's planned discharge of nuclear-contaminated wastewater, so as to ease people's concerns.

"Not just an institution in duty, but NGOs and scientists from different countries should be involved in the process and should convince us before this act, and all our questions should be answered as crystal-clearly as possible," Dundar stressed.

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