Russian Environment Ministry Says Concerned About Japan's Fukushima Water Discharge Plan

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th July, 2023) Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment told Sputnik on Friday that it is concerned about Japan's failure to provide detailed schemes of treating and diluting the radioactive water it intends to release from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP).

Russia has a maritime border with Japan along the La Pérouse, Nemuro, Izmeny and Sovietsky Straits, which separate Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands from the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

"The fact that the Japanese side does not provide comprehensive data on concentration of radionuclides in the water that will be released into the sea in open sources causes concerns," the ministry said.

It noted that Tokyo failed to provide a concrete and transparent description of all stages of water treatment. Therefore, the ministry pledged to enhance its monitoring of the sea environment as well as of local plants and animals.

"After Japan starts to discharge this allegedly treated radioactive water into the sea and the ocean, the countries that use local sea resources extensively will have to enhance the scale and intensity of radiation monitoring of the marine environment and plant and biological resources in the region," the ministry said.

Japan initially planned to begin discharging water purified of all radionuclides except tritium into the ocean 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the station this spring. However, the deadline was pushed back to the summer of 2023 due to adverse weather conditions and other factors.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred on March 11, 2011. The plant was severely damaged by a magnitude 9 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean. This triggered a massive tsunami that hit the plant and caused three nuclear reactors to melt down. The accident is considered the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and has resulted in widespread contamination of local soil and water. The disaster left 22,200 people dead or missing.