Disasters & Accidents

Hundreds protests Fukushima water dump days before start

Tokyo, Aug 22 (EFE).- Several hundred people demonstrated Tuesday before Japan’s parliament against the discharge of treated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, as the government announced later this week.

“I feel more than concerned and I think that it can never be allowed. I cannot believe at all what (Tokyo Electric Power) says and does,” Miwako Kitamura, a 55-year-old woman living in Chiba, told EFE, who said the timing of the government announcement sought to avoid criticism and further demonstrations.

The protest coincided with the announcement of the dump scheduled for Thursday after a meeting between Kishida and the ministries involved in managing the disaster.

The prime minister said the government and Tokyo Electric Power, the company that owns the plant, have verified the safety of the spill and decided to proceed with it.

“Nuclear contaminated water continues to release its radioactivity and treatment has not been completed, dumping cannot be allowed,” said Akihiko Katano, a 66-year-old worker in Tokyo.

He said he also thinks Japan would seek with this dump to achieve a kind of “acceptance of a nuclear policy” facilitating the country’s use in the military field and achieving a normalization of its vision in the country.

The water to be discharged was contaminated during the cooling process of the damaged reactors and molten fuel as a result of the nuclear accident triggered by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, as well as rainwater seepage in the facilities during more than 10 years.

This water has been stored in tanks after undergoing extensive processing to remove most radioactive elements, but the containers and physical storage space at the facility are reaching their limits.

The country’s fishing community, and especially the local fishermen from Fukushima, have been showing their rejection of the initiative, due to the new blow that the dump would mean for the reputation of catches in the area, already weighed down by the consequences of the nuclear crisis. EFE


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