Disasters & Accidents

Japanese fishermen reiterate opposition to releasing Fukushima water to sea

Tokyo, Apr 4 (EFE).- Japan’s national federation of fisheries cooperatives on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to releasing the contaminated processed water stored in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific ocean, after holding a meeting with the government.

The fishermen have opposed the measure as harmful for their economic interests, ever since it was laid out in an agreement between the ministry of industry, economy and commerce and the operator of the disaster-hit plant – the Tokyo Electric Power Company – to resolve the issue of disposing the growing amount of contaminated water at the Fukushima facility.

“We continue to be firmly opposed to the spill,” Hiroshi Kishi, the head of the fisheries federation, told reporters, and said that fishermen should be able to continue working without worries (over the spill).

Kishi held a meeting with the minister of economy, trade and industries, Koichi Haguida, as the latter visited the cooperatives’ headquarters for the first time since the government and TEPCO announced the spill – set to be carried out in spring 2023 – last year.

In the meeting, Haguida stressed the security guarantees for human health and environment that the government has pledged for the water being released into the Pacific, with the radioactivity levels expected to be below the threshold fixed by the World Health Organization for drinking water.

The minister said that they would continue to provide detailed explanations and ensure that all the parties reach an understanding.

The government has also promised the establish a fund worth 30 billion yen ($254 million) to support Fukushima’s fishing industry, which has been unable to recover fully from the 2011 nuclear accident, to compensate for the potential negative impact of the spill.

The measure aims to dispose of water contaminated with radioactive waste after it is used to cool reactors or leak into nuclear facilities, of which some 1.29 million cubic meters are accumulated in drums inside atomic facilities where space has run out.

After analyzing with a scientific panel a series of possible solutions of enormous technical complexity, including methods of evaporation or underground injection, authorities and TEPCO opted to dump all the water into the sea in front of the plant after decontaminating it.

The planned spill has also been opposed by neighboring countries such as China and South Korea. EFE


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