Japan’s Deputy PM says Fukushima dump will be safe
Tokyo, Apr 16 (EFE).- Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said Friday that the dump from the Fukushima nuclear power plant approved by Japanese authorities will be within the safe limits of drinking water, in response to criticism from China.
“I am convinced the water will be diluted so that (the tritium concentration) will be one seventh of the maximum level considered safe for drinking water by the World Health Organization,” Aso said at a Friday press conference.
The remarks came as he was asked about Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian’s Wednesday statements telling Aso to drink the water.
Zhao urged Japan not to carry out the dump without the approval from other countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and said the Pacific Ocean “is not the sewer” of Japan.
“So, it is the sewer of China? It is the ocean of the whole world,” said Aso, who doubles as Finance Minister and is known for his controversial statements.
Japan decided Tuesday to dump the contaminated water stored at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea — after treating it to remove all radioactive elements except tritium — a process scheduled to begin in 2023.
Japanese said it is a measure that will have no impact on human health or the environment and has already obtained approval for it from the agency, although the spill has generated rejection among environmental organizations and citizens and fishermen from Fukushima. It has also sparked protests in neighboring countries.
The agency’s Director General Mariano Grossi said Japan’s decision “is in line with global practices” in the nuclear industry, adding that the large amounts of processed water at the Fukishima Daiichi plant “make it a unique and complex case.”
In a statement published Tuesday, Grossi also said the international body “will work closely with Japan before, during and after the spill” with the aim of allaying fears about its possible impact on human health or the environment.
After being processed and diluted, the water from the plant will be dumped toward 2023 and have a tritium concentration of less than 1,500 becquerels per liter, a level that in addition to meeting WHO standards for drinking water is 40 times lower than the stricter limit Japan allegedly applies.
Other than China, South Korea, North Korea and Taiwan have protested the dump, while the United States said it is a measure taken “in a transparent way,” and that “it seems to be in line with the globally accepted standards of nuclear safety,” through a State Department statement. EFE