Moscow Concerned About Japan's Plans To Dump Fukushima Water Into Ocean

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th April, 2021) Russia is concerned about Japan's plans to discharge treated radioactive water from the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant (NPP) into the ocean and expects detailed explanations from Tokyo, the foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Japan announced its decision to release treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, as the NPP, which suffered the world's second-worst nuclear disaster in 2011 as a result of a devastating tsunami, is running out of storage capacity. The plan has caused a massive backlash from neighboring countries, including China and South Korea. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said, however, that the level of radioactive elements in the water from the disabled NPP will undergo cleaning and will be 40 times lower than national standards for drinking water and seven times lower than standards of the World Health Organization. Japan also pledged to take action to insure transparency, including for monitoring by third parties like the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Expressing serious concern in this regard, we expect that the government of Japan will show a due degree of transparency and will inform interested countries about its actions that may pose a radiation threat," Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

The diplomat expressed hope that Tokyo will demonstrate full responsibility in dealing with the issue, will take appropriate measures to minimize a negative impact on the marine environment and will not create difficulties for economic activities of other countries in the region, including in fisheries.

"We expect more detailed explanations on all aspects related to the planned release of radioactive water into the ocean. We expect that, if necessary, Japan will allow monitoring of the radiation situation in the areas where the discharge will be carried out," she continued.

According to Zakharova, while making the decision on the water release, Japan did not consider it necessary to consult with neighboring countries, including Russia.

"Official information from Japan on this issue is insufficient. In particular, it does not contain assessments of the risks to the environment of the Pacific region that the aforementioned decision may lead to," the spokeswoman added.

The Fukushima water release is expected to start in 2023.