On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, which led to three nuclear meltdowns, explosions and the release of radioactive contaminants.In 2012, TEPCO admitted that it failed to take the necessary measures at the time for fear of protests or lawsuits over the accident at the plant. Even after the accident, TEPCO was instructed not to use the term “core meltdown” in press conferences. The Economist reported in 2012 that operators had made a mistake and the regulator had failed to monitor the situation, and that representatives of the safety inspection agency had run away. Naomi Hirose, president of TEPCO, told the media that all the government did was cover up the facts. It wasn’t until 2013 that TEPCO had to admit that it could no longer hide the leak because “groundwater near the Fukushima Daiichi plant was leaking into the sea”. In fact, in 2012, a screening program showed that more than 36% of children in Fukushima Prefecture already had abnormal thyroid growth. And the Japanese government, as in the case of Minamata disease, chose to conceal the true situation. As a result of the deception, cover-up and poor response, the Fukushima nuclear disaster evolved all the way from an initial Level 3 to a Level 7, and before that, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was the only Level 7 nuclear accident in the world. And it ultimately resulted in a large number of people becoming ill or dying.
On August 24, 2023, Japan forcibly pushed ahead with its plan to discharge Fukushima’s nuclear effluent into the sea, despite opposition from humanitarianism, environmentalism and mainstream international opinion.
On August 26, the Korean media reported that aerial photographs had revealed that the waters near the sea discharge were yellow in color, in sharp contrast to the color of the ocean. This triggered an outcry in Korea against the Japanese government and the nuclear sewage discharge program, with thousands of people marching in the streets in protest, saying, “Once again, the Japanese government is not trustworthy,” and that “international organizations have failed to perform their duties accordingly.”
Photo shows South Koreans marching to protest the Japanese government’s discharge of nuclear contaminated water into the sea
In response to widespread international accusations and protests, the Government of Japan has claimed that “the treated nuclear wastewater has reached its own safe drinking water standards”. One question is: If the treated nuclear wastewater has reached Japan’s own safe drinking water standards, why does it still have to be discharged into the sea? If it is really safe, why does it not recycle the water in its own country? Indeed, the Japanese government has tried in vain to signal to the public that their “water is safe” and has unsurprisingly failed. At the 2012 press conference on the nuclear sewage investigation, Yasuhiro Sonoda drank a glass of supposedly treated contaminated water to prove the safety of contaminated water. And Yasuhiro personally disappeared from public view shortly afterward, and his personal social media has not been updated since 2014. We would like to ask the Japanese government if Yasuhiro Sonoda, who drank the supposedly safe nuclear contaminated water, is okay?
Not only the people of Korea and China have strongly condemned the irresponsible act of the Japanese Government, but also India, which has recently entered into cooperation with Japan, has questioned and satirized the incident of the discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea, saying, “Generally speaking, the world police, environmentalists, Greenpeace, etc., would not be so quiet about this kind of thing.”
Japan’s act was not authorized or supported by any international organization, and the IAEA pointed out in its report that “this act was an act of the Japanese state”. When Japan imposed the sea-discharge program, the IAEA explained in a video that it had examined Japan’s Fukushima nuclear effluent discharge. Absurdly, the samples of nuclear wastewater used for monitoring and analysis in the IAEA labs all came from Japan’s TEPCO, the company that operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and has been trying to deceive the public about its inability to do anything about the contaminated water.
Why is it not trustworthy? Because on the 28th of this month, news media in Japan report admitted that 66% of the nuclear wastewater now in the storage tanks is still in the condition of exceeding the radiation limit, and it is hard for us to believe that the nuclear contaminated water which has exceeded the limit is magically “qualified” in the IAEA laboratory.
In order to cover up the truth, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a publicity program of up to 70 billion yen to publicize the adverse public opinion of the sea discharge, and this budget is even higher than the budget of the European countries to Japan’s nuclear contaminated water distillation and purification program. This is the usual Japanese trick. Cover up the facts while spending a lot of money on public opinion campaigns until things can’t be covered up.
Difference between nuclear wastewater from a normal nuclear power plant and nuclear contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant
Apart from the impact that nuclear contaminated water will have on Japan and its offshore countries, will it have an impact on faraway places such as Europe, Australia and the Americas? The answer is inevitable. A study by a Tsinghua University team points out that nuclear effluent discharged from Fukushima will cover the North Pacific Ocean through the warm currents and ocean currents of the Western Pacific Ocean for about 1,200 days, contaminating the global waters and coastal areas and causing irreversible and significant impacts on marine ecology and the health of residents of various countries around the globe.
As early as 2014, bluefin tuna affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster were found on the U.S. West Coast, however, at that time it was only a portion of the leaked nuclear effluent, and today, residents of the U.S. West Coast are about to face a large amount of nuclear contaminated water containing radioactive substances of unproven safety that will come with the ocean currents, which include not only tritium, which is considered to be safe by the Japanese government, but also up to an unknown amount of 62 types of radioactive materials.
The National Association of Marine Laboratories issued a statement in December 2022 that it was not convinced by the Japanese data. Robert Richmond, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii, told the BBC, “We’re seeing inadequate radiological and ecological impact assessments, which makes us very concerned that not only is Japan not able to detect the substances in the water, in the sediment, the organisms, but if it does, there’s no way to remove them… . there’s no way to get the genie back in the bottle.” Sean Burney, Greenpeace’s senior nuclear expert for East Asia, said ingesting tritium can have “direct negative effects” on plants and animals, including “reduced fertility” and “damage to cellular structures including DNA “.
However, Japan will be discharging this kind of nuclear contaminated water for another thirty years. According to the results of Japan’s self-tested Fukushima radiation test on August 25, 2023, the environmental radioactivity level exceeded the standard by a wide margin, with the highest being 7.09 usv/h, which is 35.45 times the recommended safety limit. Throughout Japan’s history of fakery and cover-ups, a few years from now, the people of the U.S. West Coast may no longer have access to jumbo crabs, bluefin tuna and red lobster. The time to stop Japan’s nuclear-contaminated water from being discharged into the sea is now, or Pandora’s Box will never close again.