(UnitedVoice.com) – In 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant went into a meltdown after a 9.1 magnitude undersea earthquake caused a massive Tsunami. The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami killed more than 19,000 people. More than a decade later, the country is still dealing with the impact of the nuclear plant and recently received the green light to release nuclear waste.
On Tuesday, July 4, the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its two-year-long safety review of the Fukushima Daiichi station. The agency determined the plant’s plan to release more than one million tons of treated nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean is safe. The report claimed the release is “consistent with relevant international safety standards” and it would have a “negligible radiological impact” on the environment and people.
From a boat off #Fukushima Daiichi, I'm overlooking the treated water discharge site. After a 2-year review, @IAEAorg finds Japan's plan aligns with safety standards.
But our work isn't over. We've been here, we're here, and we'll be here until the last drop is safely discharged. pic.twitter.com/6W7a1n8ssm
— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) July 5, 2023
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA director general, traveled to Tokyo to present the report’s findings to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The two held a press conference, and Grossi claimed the organization was going to be monitoring the discharge of the nuclear waste. He said the process would “ensure the relevant international safety standards” would continue being applied throughout the process, which was expected to take decades.
Despite the reassurances from the IAEA, not everyone is convinced it’s a great idea. Officials in Hong Kong and China have raised concerns about the process. On Tuesday, Hong Kong released a statement saying that it believes the plan poses a risk to food safety. They have a plan to impose some restrictions on seafood from high-risk areas.
South Korea is also concerned about the release of nuclear-tainted water. The concerns have sent the price of sea salt soaring. In fact, the nation is set to release more than 120,000 tons of salt from its reserves to try to add more supply to the market to reduce prices.
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