background image

How risky is Japan’s release of radioactive water from Fukushima?

author image

By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

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

🗞️ Driving the news: Japan is set to begin the contentious release of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday
• The decision, though backed by most nuclear and radiology experts, has been vehemently opposed by neighboring regions, environmentalists, and fishing communities

🔭 The context: After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami damaged Fukushima, Tepco cooled the reactors with seawater, now stored on-site
• With storage capacity maxed out, the treated water, primarily containing the weak radioactive isotope tritium, is set for ocean discharge

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has, after a two-year review, determined the plan poses a “negligible radiological risk” to the marine environment or humans
• However, despite the safety assurances, the decision stokes fears about environmental and marine impacts

⏭️ What's next: The treated water, which contains tritium, will be diluted more than 100 times with seawater, ensuring the concentration of tritium falls below the World Health Organization's standard for drinking water
• The water's release will take place over 30 years, involving the pumping of about 1.3mn tonnes of treated water into the sea

💬 One quote: “No one actually knows the long-term effects of releasing such a large amount of waste water on the natural environment.” (Luk Bing-lam, chair of the Hong Kong Nuclear Society)

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!
author photo

About the author

illuminem's editorial team - providing you with concise summaries of the most important sustainability news of the day.

Follow us on Linkedin, Twitter​ & Instagram

Other illuminem Voices

Related Posts

You cannot miss it!

Weekly. Free. Your Top 10 Sustainability & Energy Posts.

You can unsubscribe at any time (read our privacy policy)