Wed, Sep 25, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Japan should not dump radioactive water in Pacific: AEC

NO DECISION YET:Currents would carry polluted water to the coastline of North America and back to Taiwan in three to six years, the Atomic Energy Council said

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

The Atomic Energy Council (AEC) yesterday said that it would file a complaint with the Japanese government if Tokyo decides to discharge radioactive waste water from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

It has been eight years since the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the plant, and storage for the 1 million tonnes of radioactive water used to cool the ruined reactors is projected to run out by 2022.

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co are reportedly mulling a plan to release the waste water into the ocean, drawing criticism from neighboring countries Taiwan and South Korea.

Responding to local media reports about certain Japanese officials supporting the plan, the council said in a statement that the Japanese government has not yet made a formal decision.

However, if Tokyo decides to discharge the radioactive water into the ocean, the council would express its concern through a Taiwan-Japan nuclear power regulation platform, it said.

If the plant’s radioactive water enters the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima’s coast, the polluted water would first be carried by sea currents to the coastline of North America, the council said.

The radioactive waste water would then move southward and reach waters near Taiwan after three to six years, the council said, citing analyses by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Germany-based Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

By the time the polluted water reached the nation’s coastline, the radioactive pollutants would have been diluted to a concentration of nearly one in 10 thousand, compared with the original concentration, the council said, adding that the water’s radioactive risk would also have been reduced.

“Sea water, beach sand and fishery products in nine ports across Taiwan are regularly sampled to test their radioactivity, without having any abnormal findings so far,” it added.

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