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Asia News: Japan plans to dump radiation contaminated water into Pacific Ocean

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(Asia News) Fukushima, Japan- The unfortunate disaster also known as the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in 2011 caused complications. One of the complications comes from the heavily damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. This caused the leakage of radioactive substances to the ocean and the land around it.

Ever since then, Japan has decided to store the water which has been contaminated in a thousand enormous water storage tanks which were built. Every day, frequent rain causes the amount of water to build up slowly and steadily. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency predict that all the tanks will be full by mid-2022.

Therefore, they are finding a quick solution. Diluting the contaminated water and releasing it into the ocean is an approach to scale back short-term costs. But this awful action doesn’t consider environmental protection, nor public safety of Fukushima coastal communities.

When the news was released, many people around the world were appalled by Japan coming out with this as a solution. Many people started to protest against the decision.

However, some experts say that they can filter out more than 62 radioactive contaminants prior to the discharge. One of the only radioactive contaminant known as Tritium still remains. This is because it is very hard to separate because it is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, and so part of the water molecules themselves.

Environmental issues
The ocean is a crucial part of the Earth’s ecosystem. If Japan chooses to release contaminated water into the Pacific, this might result in the worldwide spread of nuclear radiation in oceanic currents. During this regard, Japan’s neighbouring countries will most certainly protest, as will most of the Pacific Rim.
Besides destroying the environment, Japan will take a huge hit onto their reputation and global image. This will strain its relations with other countries and heavily damage the economy.
According to international treaties like the UN Convention on the Law of the ocean, Japan has the obligation to guard and preserve the marine environment. It’s committed to taking all necessary measures to stop, reduce and control pollution. Japan’s neighbouring countries can appeal to relevant UN agencies and lodge their complaints.
Solution
Japan should allow international communities to test their filtered radiation water. This should make the situation transparent when the privately funded studies can determine whether the water is ‘clean’ enough to discharge into the sea.
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