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"Contaminated Pacific" - Article by Achim Brunnengräber and Lila Okamura in the Newspaper Berliner Zeitung (in German)

Pacific Ocean in front of the Japanese coast (Unsplash)

Pacific Ocean in front of the Japanese coast (Unsplash)

Japan is planning to discharge contaminated cooling water from Fukushima’s damaged nuclear power plant into the sea - and triggers resentment among riparian states South Korea, China and Russia.

News from Jun 21, 2023

The Japanese government and Tepco, the energy supplier and operator of nuclear power plants in Japan, find themselves in a compromised situation. In the next few months, they will begin on piping water containing tritium, which is produced during the cooling of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was damaged in 2011, through an 800-metre-long undersea tunnel into the Pacific. This is because the water tanks have already exhausted 96 percent of their capacity.

Riparian states, environmental organisations and the fishing industry are protesting strongly against this. The clean-up efforts have also been a topic of discussion at the G7 recently. Japan, for example, had tried to get the "discharge of processed water" approved, maintaining that the discharge would not be harmful to humans or the environment.

The article critically assesses the planned discharge of the radioactively contaminated water and also takes a look at the dismantling work of the damaged nuclear power plant.

Brunnengräber, A.; Okamura, L. (2023) ‘Kontaminierter Pazifik’, Berliner Zeitung, Nr. 127, 05. Juni 2023, p. 19.

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