China official dares Japan deputy PM to drink Fukushima water to prove safety

Beijing, Apr 14 (EFE).- A Chinese official on Wednesday said the Japanese deputy prime minister Taro Aso should drink the treated wastewater from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant to prove it is safe after Tokyo decided it would go ahead with a plan to dump it in the Pacific Ocean.

Aso, who is also the finance minister, on Tuesday insisted the water would not be dangerous to drink but the plan has sparked condemnation from countries in the region.

“A Japanese official said it is okay if we drink this water, so then please drink it,” Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said during his daily press conference.

“The ocean is not the rubbish bin of Japan, nor is the Pacific a drainage receptacle for the country”, he added.

 “Japan should not let the world pay for its treatment of nuclear wastewater.”

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman claimed that dumping wastewater from the Fukushima plant was different to the common practice of letting reactor cooling water runoff into the ocean.

Japan on Tuesday formalized its decision to release over 1 million tonnes of wastewater from Fukushima nuclear power.

The contentious measure is aimed at solving the accumulation of radioactive water at the Daiichi nuclear facilities, one of the most pressing problems in the complex process of dismantling the plant that was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The water, which is stored in huge tanks, is what was pumped into the damaged nuclear reactor cores, as well as contaminated rain and groundwater.

The Fukushima Daiichi facilities have a water processing system that removes the radioactive materials considered dangerous, with the exception of tritium, a material present in nature, although in low concentration.

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