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

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Aug 25 2023 Β· 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
PollutionΒ Β·Β NatureΒ Β·Β ESG

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πŸ—žοΈ 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

πŸ”­ 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

πŸ’¬ 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)

πŸ“ˆ 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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