China News Service, February 28 (Zhang Aolin) On February 28, Japan officially began to discharge the fourth batch of Fukushima nuclear wastewater, which is expected to last for 17 days.

This is the first batch of nuclear sewage discharged by the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2024. The discharge volume is roughly the same as the previous three times, still about 7,800 tons.

  Recently, the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has been experiencing constant problems. First, a large number of nuclear sewage leakage accidents occurred. In less than a month, a fire alarm sounded again in the nuclear power plant.

However, the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company ignored this and insisted on starting the fourth round of pollution discharge, causing widespread concern.

Data map: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Over 30,000 tons of nuclear sewage flows into the sea in half a year

Emissions will increase significantly in 2024!

  Japan officially started discharging Fukushima nuclear sewage into the sea on August 24, 2023, and has completed three batches of discharge. The cumulative discharge of the first three batches exceeded 23,000 tons.

  The fourth batch of nuclear sewage discharge announced by Japan is still about 7,800 tons.

In other words, in just half a year, more than 30,000 tons of nuclear wastewater will flow into the Pacific Ocean.

  And that's just the beginning.

  According to the latest discharge plan announced by TEPCO, 54,600 tons of nuclear sewage is planned to be discharged in seven times in 2024 (April 2024 to March 2025), which is approximately 1.7 times that of 2023.

  Data shows that before the formal discharge of sewage began, 1.3 million tons of Fukushima nuclear wastewater had been stored. It would take at least 30 years to discharge all this water.

Data map: Tokyo Electric Power Company officials introduce facilities for extracting diluted radioactive wastewater samples.

Image source: Associated Press

A large amount of nuclear wastewater leaked into the soil

Safety accidents occur frequently

  Japan is determined to promote the discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea and claims that the discharge system is "very safe." However, frequent safety accidents have cast great doubts on the reliability and transparency of TEPCO in handling nuclear wastewater.

  On February 7, a nuclear sewage purification device at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant leaked. About 1.5 tons of nuclear sewage flowed out and seeped into the soil. The total amount of radioactive material leaked was as high as 6.6 billion becquerels!

  After an investigation by TEPCO, it was found that the cause of the accident was not a complex equipment problem, but simply the staff's negligence in not closing the manual valve.

  This investigation result caused an uproar in Japanese public opinion. Some Japanese netizens said: "You (TEPCO) can't even ensure the safety of sewage discharge if you can't even close the most basic valve?"

  "I hope you can treat this matter with a considerable sense of tension and rethink what substances (you) are handling!" Recently, in response to TEPCO's constant problems, Tetsu Nozaki, president of the Fukushima Fisheries Federation, appealed. .

  The Japan Atomic Energy Regulatory Commission also directly pointed out on February 19 that TEPCO’s internal management functions were unclear and there were violations of operating rules and safety measures, and required TEPCO to completely prevent similar accidents from happening again.

Data map: Seawater transfer pump at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

Image source: Associated Press

  Just two weeks later, another problem occurred at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

  Japan's Fukushima TV station learned on February 25 that in the early morning of the 22nd local time, a fire alarm went off in the facility used to burn waste at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and a large amount of water vapor filled the site.

  According to TEPCO, the amount of radiation in the surrounding area has not changed significantly. However, several days have passed and TEPCO has not been able to figure out where the large amount of water vapor came from, let alone the cause of the accident.

  Since the start of the discharge, problems such as nuclear power plant workers being splashed by nuclear sewage, pressure reduction of water pumps used to transport nuclear sewage, and filter blockage have occurred at intervals, further raising concerns about the safety of discharge equipment.

  Nagasaki University professor Tatsujiro Suzuki said in a recent interview with Korean media that the Japanese government should stop the discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea as soon as possible and establish an "independent supervisory agency" that all relevant parties can trust to review the matter.

Data map: Japanese people rally against the discharge of Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the sea.

Photo by China News Service reporter Zhu Chenxi

All walks of life in Japan insist on opposing the sea discharge

People in Fukushima appeal: Please stop!

  "Discharging nuclear sewage into the sea is artificially spreading radioactive energy!" Chiyo Oda, 68, is a resident of Joban City, Fukushima Prefecture. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident completely took away her stable life by the sea.

  Over the past 13 years, out of the desire to "protect the ocean," Oda and his companions launched the citizen group "Don't pollute the ocean again! Citizens' Meeting," which regularly organizes demonstrations and study activities against nuclear sewage discharge.

  In September 2023, after TEPCO officially started discharging nuclear sewage, they also filed a lawsuit with the Fukushima District Court together with residents and fishery practitioners inside and outside Fukushima Prefecture, requesting to stop the discharge of nuclear sewage into the sea. This was the first time in Japan that Examples are similar to litigation.

In early November, they also filed a supplemental lawsuit, expanding the number of plaintiffs to about 350 people.

  The indictment reads, “The double harm caused by nuclear accidents and discharge into the sea must not be tolerated!”

  Among the problems caused by the discharge of nuclear sewage, fishermen have become one of the most significantly affected groups.

  The 73-year-old Takano Takeshi comes from Namie Town, about 8 kilometers north of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. This is a small town mainly based on fishing. Takano Takeshi, who has been engaged in fishing for most of his life, recently accepted an interview with the Japanese current affairs news weekly "AERA". He said that local fishermen did not accept the discharge of nuclear sewage into the sea, and believed that the discharge of nuclear sewage into the sea itself was a contempt of the Japanese government's previous commitment that "it will not discharge the sea without the understanding of the fishermen."

  However, the Japanese government and TEPCO have no intention of stopping. Instead, they spare no effort to promote nuclear sewage as "treated water" and believe that "it is safe to be diluted and discharged into the ocean."

  There are also knowledgeable people in Japanese politics regarding the actions of the Japanese government and TEPCO.

Social Democratic Party leader Mizuho Fukushima made it clear on February 24 that the party does not agree with the term "treated water" and will continue to use the term "polluted water."

  Fukushima Ho said, "There is no evidence that (radioactive materials) have been completely removed. Even if the radioactive materials are very small, it is still a problem, so it cannot be called treated contaminated water."

  She also noted: "There is absolutely an option to store it in tanks or other methods, and we are opposed to releasing it into the ocean."

  Regarding the future of his hometown and future generations, Takeshi Takano said worriedly, "It is impossible to predict how long the impact of sea discharge on the ocean will last. I hope that future generations can live in this sea area. I still hope that they (the Japanese government and TEPCO) can stop discharging water into the sea." (End)