In April 2020, Japan announced that wastewater from the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, destroyed in March 2011 following the Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami, would be dropped into the Pacific ocean in 2023.
Japan has been working with the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) to ensure its plans are safe. At the same time, the containers holding the wastewater since 2011 are reaching their capacities.
On May 18, 2022, Japan’s nuclear regulator approved plans to release its treated radioactive wastewater into the sea next year, saying the outlined methods are safe and the risk to the environment minimal.
Robert Richmond, director of the University of Hawaii Kewalo Marine Laboratory is concerned – “As temperatures go up (a climate change impact), many chemicals become more interactive, they become a little bit different in terms of breakdown,” he said. “So these are all the things we need to consider.”
This is more than just a pacific issue. Eventually, all lives will be impacted. It’s worth our attention.