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News > Japan

South Korean Activists Reject Fukushima Nuclear Water Dumping

  • South Korean protesters demand a stop to Japan’s release of nuclear wastewater, August 26, 2023..

    South Korean protesters demand a stop to Japan’s release of nuclear wastewater, August 26, 2023.. | Photo: X/ @ISDP_Sweden

Published 5 October 2023

The process conducted by TEPCO, the IAEA, and Japan was always intended to lead to the discharges, denounced Greenpeace.

On Thursday, South Korean activists condemned Japan's dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.


Japan To Begin Second Round of Fukushima Water Release

They held a press conference near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, urging the Japanese government to immediately stop the "nuclear terrorism crimes against humanity."

They activists said that the Japanese government is untrustworthy as the first round of the wastewater release has already caused trouble in the ocean, noting that the discharge is planned to continue for over 30 years.

They called on Japan to decommission the Fukushima plant in cooperation with other countries and store the wastewater on its land, urging the South Korean government to file a complaint against Japan with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Despite mounting concerns and opposition at home and abroad, Japan launched the second round of discharge of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the ocean. This operation will continue over 17 days to dump 7,800 tons of the wastewater. 

Hit by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima nuclear plant suffered core meltdowns that released radiation, resulting in a level-7 nuclear accident, the highest on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale.

The plant has been generating a massive amount of water tainted with radioactive substances from cooling down the nuclear fuel in the reactor buildings, which are now being stored in about 1,000 storage tanks.

The Fukushima plant has stored more than 1.3 million tons of nuclear-contaminated wastewater, and the whole discharge plan will continue for over 30 years.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova criticized Japan over a lack of transparency and a failure to provide full access to information regarding the water release.

At the Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in September, Vice Chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority Liu Jing said the discharge of the Fukushima wastewater is a major nuclear safety issue, as it is an unprecedented artificial release of contaminated water from nuclear accidents into the sea.

There is a lot of uncertainty about the cumulative effect caused by the release of large quantities of radionuclides into the sea.  

Greenpeace East Asia nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie questioned the water management operations at the Fukushima plant and the overall decommissioning plans of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which currently has no plans that will remove the nuclear material or stop groundwater from becoming contaminated.

"This means that the discharges that began in August 2023 will have no end, not 20 or 30 years as stated by the Japanese government," he said, pointing out that the entire process conducted by TEPCO, the IAEA, and Japan was always intended to lead to the discharges.

"It was not a process of assessing the scientific issues and then deciding to discharge. The category of treated water was invented to try and disguise the fact that it is nuclear wastewater," he stressed.

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