- Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2023
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China Opposes Release of Japan's Fukushima Wastewater, Demands Stoppage

© AFP 2023 / Tomohiro Ohsumi / POOLA Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) employee walks past storage tanks for contaminated water at the company's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan, on February 23, 2017
A Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) employee walks past storage tanks for contaminated water at the company's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan, on February 23, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.08.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Earlier in the day, the NPP’s operator, TEPCO started dumping the treated waste water from the plant into the Pacific Ocean, having diluted it with sea water in advance. The process is being broadcast live by leading Japanese television companies.
China strongly opposes the release of treated radioactive water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant (NPP) and demands that Japan stop this "wrongdoing," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
"On August 24, in disregard of the strong criticism and opposition from the international community, the Japanese government unilaterally started the release of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it. We have made serious demarches to Japan and asked it to stop this wrongdoing," the ministry said in a statement.
Beijing also noted that the accident that occurred at Fukushima 12 years ago had already led to a major disaster and released a large amount of harmful substances into the ocean.
"There could be a man-made secondary disaster to the local people and the whole world if Japan chooses to dump the water into the ocean just to serve Japan’s selfish interests," the statement read.
The Chinese foreign ministry additionally said that Japan provided no evidence of the legality of its decision to dump treated water into the sea.
"By dumping the water into the ocean, Japan is spreading the risks to the rest of the world and passing an open wound onto the future generations of humanity. By doing so, Japan has turned itself into a saboteur of the ecological system and polluter of the global marine environment," the ministry said.
The ministry also vowed China will take all necessary measures to maintain food safety and the health of its people.
The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment also said that Beijing will intensify its monitoring of the impact of the water release from Fukushima into the ocean.
"The ministry will continue to strengthen monitoring efforts, timely monitor and evaluate the impact of radioactive water discharge from the Fukushima nuclear power plant on the radiation situation in our waters, effectively protect the interests of our country and people's health," the ministry said in a statement.
Men wearing protective suits and masks work in front of welding storage tanks for radioactive water, under construction in the J1 area at the Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.08.2023
Japanese PM to Visit Fukushima NPP Before Deciding on Radioactive Water Release
Japan’s decision to discharge treated nuclear-tainted water into the Pacific faced criticism from South Korea and China, who fear radioactive contamination. The International Atomic Energy Agency argued that the treated wastewater will have a negligible radiological impact on people and the environment.
Tokyo said that it had to discharge the treated water as it urgently needed to free up space at the Fukushima NPP. Japan initially planned to begin discharging water purified of all radionuclides except tritium into the ocean 0.6 miles from the station this spring. However, the deadline was pushed back to the summer of 2023 due to adverse weather conditions and other factors.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred on March 11, 2011. The plant was severely damaged by a magnitude 9 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean. This triggered a massive tsunami that hit the plant and caused three nuclear reactors to melt down. The accident is considered the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and has resulted in widespread contamination of local soil and water. The disaster left 22,200 people dead or missing.
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