Japan 'drains' its reputation | Latest news The Moscow Post
29 November 2023

Japan 'drains' its reputation

Japan begins discharging 1.3 million cubic meters of water from the emergency Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant on August 24. Kyodo news agency reports that the Japanese government has informed Russia and China of difficulties in predicting the effects of the discharge, namely the impact of this process on the state of atmospheric air in the region.

Earlier, Russia and China, following the talks of the leaders, expressed "serious concerns" related to Japan's plans to dump radioactive contaminated water accumulated after the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant into the ocean. Moscow and Beijing have compiled a list of issues in connection with these plans. Details in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.

According to the Kyodo news agency, the response of Japanese experts said that "the forecast for the scale of the spread [of fumes] will be difficult," a separate task will be "monitoring the level of radioactive elements."

According to a poll by Kyodo, nine out of ten Japanese residents expect negative consequences for the country's economy. Most of the respondents are confident that the discharge of water from nuclear power plants will lead to reputational risks and economic damage.

Neighbors are unhappy,...

The Japanese government has finally approved the date for the start of discharge of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant into the ocean. The NPP operator will begin implementing this plan on Thursday, August 24.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova previously stated that, when deciding on the discharge of radioactive water, "Tokyo did not consider it necessary to hold consultations with neighboring states, including the Russian Federation."

The Chinese government has repeatedly criticized Japan's plan, calling it selfish and irresponsible. State media reports almost daily on protests in Japan and South Korea. China doubts the effectiveness of the cleaning system of the Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) operator company and claims that the situation is different from the standard one.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Japan has no right to use the Pacific Ocean "as its private sewer." "China strongly insists that Japan make adjustments to this erroneous decision and abandon the plan to discharge radioactive water into the sea," he told a regular briefing. - The Chinese side will take all necessary measures to protect the ecology of the ocean, protect food security and public health. "

Beijing insists on the right of neighboring countries to discuss such projects and has already refused to import products from ten prefectures of Japan. Hong Kong authorities will ban seafood imports from ten Japanese prefectures, including Tokyo and Fukushima, from August 24. "If this radioactive water is safe, there is no need to drain it into the sea. If it is unsafe, it is not necessary to drain, especially, "said Wang Wenbin.

"Serious concern" about Tokyo's intentions was expressed by the Pacific Islands Forum, an intergovernmental Pacific Islands group that includes Australia and New Zealand. Ocean currents can deliver some of the discharged water up to the coast of Alaska, Canada, the west coast of the United States, the Aleutian Islands and Kamchatka. But one of the few who supported Japan was Washington.

The South Korean authorities sent a scientific delegation to Fukushima back in May, waiting for its independent opinion. Opinion poll data shows that the vast majority of the country's residents oppose dumping. Demand for sea salt skyrocketed, with South Korean consumers trying to stockpile before dumping began.

South Korea still has restrictions on imports of seafood from Fukushima and eight other prefectures. The country's customs office said imports of fish products from Japan were falling. For the second quarter, the volume of imports decreased by about 30% compared to this period in 2022.

In Japan itself, over the years, the local authorities of Fukushima Prefecture, where the emergency nuclear power plant is located, have invested a lot of money in restoring the Fukushima brand to the seafood market. The Prefectural Fisheries Federation condemned the upcoming discharge. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with the head of the Japanese Fisheries Association. "We remain strongly opposed to dumping," said Masanobu Sakamoto, head of Japan's National Federation of Fishing Cooperative Associations.

… despite arrangements

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Raphael Grossi supports Japanese and convinces their neighbors that the radiation level after dumping will be minimum. He reported that at his insistance of IAEA I opened permanent office on the NPP "Fukushima-1".

Every day cooling of emergency reactors requires about 140 tons of water which becomes radioactive. On the NPP about one thousand tanks for storage of radioactive water of 1.37 million tons are installed. Nearly 90% of their total volume Volumes of the saved-up water are already filled are equivalent to about 500 swimming pools of the Olympic size. Dumping is planned to be carried out it is dosed, after cleaning, on a tunnel at distance of one kilometer from the coast, having dragged out process for many years.

Water is passed through the multistage system of cleaning of ALPS that allows to remove up to 62 types of radionuclides, except tritium or "superheavy hydrogen". The period of his half-decay is about 12 years. The TEPCO company convinces that tritium content in water before dumping is carried to 1/40 from standard of safety established by the International commission on radiological protection and the government of Japan, and 1/7 from the admissible norm established for drinking water by World Health Organization.

Tritium (radioactive isotope of hydrogen) is the only radionuclide which will remain in problem water. IAEA claims that his specific contents will be small, dumping of water conforms to the international standards, and influence on marine fauna and flora will be minimum. Also I confirmed Gross that IAEA will carry out monitoring, and the agency will conduct explanatory work.

As it was

Twelve years ago in three reactors of this Japanese nuclear power plant which operator was TEPCO state company nuclear fuel melted. The powerful tidal wave (tsunami) was much more powerful, than even the most meticulous Japanese engineers could assume.

Generators were flooded, all systems of power supply failed, Accident on three reactors was followed by explosions and emissions of radiation in the atmosphere. On the international classification an incident was carried to the highest, seventh level that put him in one row with accident on the Chernobyl NPP.

The district of Tokyo by miracle avoided radiation contamination. Around Fukushima-1 the authorities created an exclusion zone, it was necessary to evacuate all inhabitants in a radius of 30 kilometers from the NPP. Financial losses and costs of mitigation of consequences exceeded 100 billion dollars and continue to grow.

For cooling of emergency reactors and fuel reserves of all 12 years used water. After accident in the territory of the NPP installed about one thousand tanks. In them more than one million tons of "low radioactive" liquid and free volumes practically collected didn't remain. Ways of utilization, including an electrolysis method for release of hydrogen or mixing of water with cement with the subsequent pumping mix under the earth were considered. The Japanese government chose dumping of water into the sea.

Before dumping water will be is diluted that concentration of tritium in her decreased to 1500 becquerels on liter. It is 40 times less than the norms operating in Japan for discharge of radioactive liquids from the working NPPs. The Japanese legislation allows dumping of water into the sea at 60 thousand becquerels.

Hirokadzu Matsuno, the secretary general of the government of Japan, noticed that China and South Korea dump from the gas stations water with tritium content as liquid waste too. Before accident of the NPP "Fukushima-1" itself I dumped in the sea water with tritium content 2.2 trillion becquerels in terms of a year. Now at the station 1.25 million tons of water which radioactivity is 860 trillion becquerels accumulated. If to apply last standards of the contents of tritium, then it is necessary to dump water from the NPP "Fukushima-1" four more centuries! But the government intends to complete all process in 30-40 years.

Perhaps, this year will be remembered as the beginning of "a new era" in estimates of safety of nuclear power in extreme circumstances. In Japan the dumping of radioactive water into the ocean will begin on August 24. In France, near Toulouse, the abnormal heat and high temperature of water in Rhone forced to switch-off the nuclear reactor. In Russia, unmanned aerial vehicles of AFU not less than 10 times attack per day the Zaporizhia NPP, but raids are stopped.

Photo: RBC

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