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Fukushima: China accused of hypocrisy over its own release of wastewater from nuclear plants

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Following the release of 1 million tonnes of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, China has instituted a ban on all seafood imports from Japan, sparking accusations of hypocrisy and manipulation of anti-Japanese sentiment

🔭 The context: Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) initiated the discharge process, which will take around 30 years, under the approval of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Japanese government
• Despite rapid tests showing radioactivity levels within safe limits, China criticized the move, branding it as “selfish and irresponsible.”

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The decision carries implications for global trade and environmental policy, particularly as several experts highlight that China's own nuclear plants release wastewater with higher tritium levels
• The debate centers around whether the wastewater from a nuclear disaster is fundamentally different from those from standard nuclear operations

⏭️ What's next: Tensions between China and Japan rise, with the former's fishmongers lamenting empty shelves due to halted Japanese imports
• Nationalist sentiments have surged in China, with boycotts of Japanese products and negative sentiments against Japan being amplified on social platforms

💬 One quote: “The release of currently filtered cooling water containing tritium atoms from the Fukushima plant will not cause physically detrimental effects.” (Dr. David Krofcheck,  Professor at the University of Auckland)

📈 One stat: After the water discharge, tests showed radioactivity levels below 1,500 becquerels per litre, with the safety standard set at 60,000 becquerels a litre

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