Fishermen express fury as Fukushima plant set to release radioactive material into ocean
|| Telegraph UK
Local residents and environmental groups have condemned a plan to release radioactive tritium from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.
“Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, say tritium poses little risk to human health and is quickly diluted by the ocean.
In an interview with local media, Takashi Kawamura, chairman of TEPCO, said: “The decision has already been made.” He added, however, that the utility is waiting for approval from the Japanese government before going ahead with the plan and is seeking the understanding of local residents.
The tritium is building up in water that has been used to cool three reactors that suffered fuel melt-downs after cooling equipment was destroyed in the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that struck north-east Japan in March 2011.
Around 770,000 tons of highly radioactive water is being stored in 580 tanks at the site. Many of the contaminants can be filtered out, but the technology does not presently exist to remove tritium from water.
“This accident happened more than six years ago and the authorities should have been able to devise a way to remove the tritium instead of simply announcing that they are going to dump it into the ocean”, said Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan.
“They say that it will be safe because the ocean is large so it will be diluted, but that sets a precedent that can be copied, essentially permitting anyone to dump nuclear waste into our seas”, she told The Telegraph.
Fishermen who operate in waters off the plant say any release of radioactive material will devastate an industry that is still struggling to recover from the initial nuclear disaster.
“Releasing [tritium] into the sea will create a new wave of unfounded rumours, making all our efforts for naught”, Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishing cooperative, told Kyodo News.”
….Continue reading more @ Telegraph UK
| Question: How is it conceivable that a single nation can make such a unilater decision that can affect the entire planet? We simply don’t know what the affects will be from such major environmental decision. Yet not a peep from the MSM on this critical eco-issue.
Moreover, how is this not a form of state-sponsored form of eco-terrorism? /CJ
Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea, Tepco chief says. Does Tepco and Japan owns the Pacific Ocean?
“We were all just kidding when we said we would save our ocean. Besides, what’s a little bit more poison in the Pacific? Pretending to manage the unmanageable. Dumping into the ecosystem is simply standard operation. The solution to pollution is dilution.–old adage.
Should all of us, all the other countries, stay silent while Tepco and Japan are deciding on their own to dump even more radioactive contamination into our Pacific Ocean?
I would like to point out that the Pacific ocean does not belong to Japan, it belongs to all of us; as my dear friend Sheila Parks already pointed out in her excellent December 2013 article which I recommend to everyone to read, https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Pacific-Ocean-Does-Not-by-Sheila-Parks-Energy-Nuclear_Fukushima_Fukushima-Cover-up_Japan-131215-303.html.
Now, a question: Will all the Pacific Ocean neighboring countries will stand saying nothing about Japan dumping all that accumulated contaminated water into the Pacific ocean? Mind you, in addition to all what Tepco has been already unwillingly and willingly dumping on the sly with all kinds of lousy reasons during the past 6 years…
Terrible, but tritium is actually released by all nuclear reactors. Legally and illegally, which reactor communities should point out every chance they get. Tritium (H3O) can go everywhere in your body water goes, even across the blood brain and placental barriers, and is thought to be a cause of elevated rates of childhood leukemia around nuclear reactors.
Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says.
“The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media.
Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.
As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima plant, which is quickly running out of space.
Tepco’s decision has local fishermen worried that their livelihood is at risk because the radioactive material will further mar public perceptions about the safety of their catches.
Kawamura’s remarks are the first by the utility’s management on the sensitive matter. Since the March 2011 meltdowns were brought under control, the Fukushima No. 1 plant has been generating tons of toxic water that has been filling up hundreds of tanks at the tsunami-hit plant.
Kawamura’s comments came at a time when a government panel is still debating how to deal with the tritium issue, including whether to dump it all into sea.
Saying its next move is contingent on the panel’s decision, Kawamura hinted in the interview that Tepco will wait for the government’s decision before actually releasing the tainted water into the sea.
“We cannot keep going if we do not have the support of the state” as well as Fukushima Prefecture and other stakeholders, he said.
Toxic water at the plant is being treated by a complex water-processing system that can remove 62 different types of radioactive materials except tritium.
Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has been urging Tepco to release the water. Kawamura says he feels emboldened to have the support of the NRA chairman.
But fishermen who make their livelihoods from sea life near the plant are opposed to the releases because of how the potential ramifications will affect their lives.
“Releasing (tritium) into the sea will create a new wave of unfounded rumors, making our efforts all for naught,” said Kanji Tachiya, head of a local fishermen cooperative.
Tachiya, of the cooperative that includes fishermen from the towns of Futaba and Okuma, which host the plant, took a swipe at Tepco’s decision, saying there has been “no explanation whatsoever from Tepco to local residents.”
On March 11, 2011, tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant, situated 10 meters above sea level, and flooded the power supply, causing a station blackout. The cooling systems of reactors 1, 2 and 3 were thus crippled, leading to core meltdowns that became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Water is being constantly injected into the leaking reactors to keep the molten fuel cool, creating tons of extremely toxic water 24/7. Although it is filtered through a complex processing system, extracting the tritium is virtually impossible.
Continue reading more @ Nuclear-news.net