November 19, 2020
Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese staged a protest in Taipei on Thursday against a plan by the Japanese government to release more than a million tonnes of water into the ocean from the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant, starting in 2022.
At the rally in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), some 20 supporters of the “Nuclear Go Zero” movement called on the ministry to push back, via diplomatic channels, against the Japanese government’s controversial plan.
Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅), a lawyer affiliated with the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association in Taiwan, said at the rally that releasing “contaminated” water from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power would pose a risk to humans who might eat the many marine species that migrate in the warm current between Taiwan and Japan.
Another protester, Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳), deputy CEO of the environmental organization Citizen of the Earth, said contamination of the marine ecology could last for 30-40 years, if the water is dumped into the ocean.
The protesters are opposed to a plan announced in October by the Japanese government to start releasing more than 1 million tonnes of water from the power plant, which was the site of a major nuclear disaster in 2011 when Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami.
Since then, Japan has been trying to find a way of disposing of the water that was used to cool the power plant and which has been increasing in volume due to rainwater seeping into the structure, according to international news reports.
By summer of 2022, the 1,000 huge storage tanks will reach their full capacity, and the water will be treated, diluted, and released into the Pacific Ocean over several decades, the reports said.
At a regular press briefing Thursday, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the Japanese government has not yet made a final decision on the issue, and MOFA will seek clarification.
She said the protesters have submitted a letter that has been passed on to the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association, which will relay their concerns to the Japanese government via Taiwan’s representative office in Tokyo.
“MOFA is also concerned about the issue, as the maritime environment, ecological conservation, and health of our citizens may be at risk,” Ou said