December 8, 2022

MADRID, Dec. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Japanese authorities have described the measure as “totally safe and unavoidable”, member countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (ORA), official institutions, non-governmental organizations, environmental associations such as Greenpece, experts and professors in atomic energy, as well as doctors and researchers specialized in diseases related to uncontrolled exposure to atomic substances, denounce this measure as irresponsible, and ask the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to intervene in this situation.

A group of international journalists led by HT investigates and analyzes the impact of the controversial plan to dump Fukushima water into the sea.  The main conclusions are:

  • The decision announced in April 2021, assuring that it is a “safe” project, does not convince  the scientific community, nor the experts in atomic energy, since of all it is “the cheapest option”.
  • It is currently unknown how the long-lived radioactive isotopes contained in the contaminated water will interact with marine biology, this situation is “unprecedented”.
  • An independent analysis of the report published by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Subcommittee shows that the company responsible for the Fukushima power plant understood that additional storage of contaminated water beyond 2022 was possible, but ruled it out because it would require “a substantial amount of coordination,  time and financial resources.
  • Last October 30, a group of experts and professors in atomic energy, as well as doctors and researchers specialized in diseases related to uncontrolled exposure to atomic substances, submitted a letter to the Director General Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi, asking him to urge the Japanese authorities to stop this measure.

Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace, confirms “the lack of clarity and scientific inconsistencies” in the Fukushima nuclear power plant decommissioning project, considering it a “fantasy” and that the discharge of contaminated and treated water into the ocean “does not solve the crisis and will generate an unpredictable environmental situation”.

Eleven years after the earthquake and tsunami that caused one of the worst nuclear accidents in history, Greenpeace is issuing a new wake-up call after reviewing multiple documents from different government agencies and industry.

Satoshi Sato, leader of the nuclear fusion and quantum energy neutron source design group at Rokkasho (Japan), states that “decommissioning is not possible in 40 years”. There are many shadows and doubts, the authorities should clarify the progress that has been made so far.

It will have to “live with treated water for decades while a safe solution is found,” the expert said in relation to the discharge of treated water into the Pacific Ocean, a plan planned for 2023 and which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently assessed during a mission to the country.

Shaun Burine and Satoshi Sato, agreed that the IAEA’s position in supporting TEPCO’s (Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.) plans “makes no sense. They went on to say that “the IAEA’s mission is to develop safety standards and maintain high levels of safety for the protection of human health and the environment against ionizing radiation.  As well as to verify that States meet their commitments.”

“TEPCO has no intention of decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the next 20 to 30 years. It is a fantasy and a much longer process than we have been told, said Burnie, who stressed the need to inform affected communities and the public in detail.

“You can’t discount the long-term consequences, because this transcends generations and this fact should be crucial to addressing the problem, not the official agenda of the actors involved,” Burnie criticized the roadmap approved by the Japanese government.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is the world’s fourth-largest utility and the country’s bastion of nuclear power, from which Japan gets 30% of its electricity. Tepco serves one-third of the population. The company that operates the nuclear power plant has contributed to the catastrophe with its management before and after the accident Falsified reviews, concealed information and delayed urgent measures.

The Greenpeace organization recalls that the company’s negligence put the former IAEA management in check on numerous occasions, its spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama denounced on numerous occasions as “extremely regrettable” the errors in the radioactive water measurements, apparently due to faults in the software used to carry out the measurements. “Tepco is facing a very serious situation and is not meeting people’s expectations”,  Nishiyama insisted, in the harshest criticism the company has received.