China, Russia Send Technical Queries To Japan Over Fukushima Water Release Plan - Beijing

BEIJING (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th August, 2023) China and Russia sent technical queries to Japan over Tokyo's plan to dump treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that the country's government was not going to scrap its water discharge plan scheduled for this summer.

"We have been communicating our concerns to Japan on the basis of the science and facts and have engaged Japan bilaterally and multilaterally to repeatedly state the views and concerns from China's professional agencies. In addition, based on science and technology and international nuclear safety good practices, China and Russia presented three joint lists of technical questions to Japan to demand clarifications regarding its ocean discharge plan," the ministry said in a statement.

On Monday, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida intends to set a date for the water discharge following his visit to the United States scheduled for August 18.

Japan initially planned to begin discharging water purified of all radionuclides except tritium into the ocean 0.6 miles from the station this spring. However, the deadline was pushed back to the summer of 2023 in view of 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.