Japan to release one million tonnes of contaminated Fukushima water into the sea 9 months ago

Japan to release one million tonnes of contaminated Fukushima water into the sea

The move is being fiercely opposed both inside and outside of Japan.

Japan has said it will begin releasing more than one million tons of treated radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean in two years.


The government made the controversial announcement on Tuesday which was created with opposition in Japan itself and in neighbouring countries.

It's been over ten years since the nuclear disaster at the plant, but prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, told ministers that dealing with the treated water is "an unavoidable issue" the most realistic option was to release it into the Pacific Ocean.

“The Japanese government has compiled basic policies to release the processed water into the ocean, after ensuring the safety levels of the water … and while the government takes measures to prevent reputational damage,” Suga told reporters.

In a statement on its website, the Chinese foreign ministry said the move will "seriously damage international public health and safety, and the vital interests of people in neighbouring countries".

The filtering process will leave only tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen which is hard to separate from water, which Japan says is not harmful to humans in small amounts.

"Before the discharge, the water in tanks will also be sufficiently diluted so that the concentration of tritium will be much lower than Japan's national regulatory standards, which is compliant with international standards," the Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

Work to release the diluted water will begin in around two years time but the entire process is expected to take decades to complete.