October 17, 2021

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World News

Fishermen urge govt not to release contaminated Fukushima water into Pacific

Scores of fishermen and workers at Numanouchi Ichiba Fish Market in Iwaki City, Fukushima prefecture, were seen sorting fish around the port and market facilities on Wednesday, where some expressed concerns over reported government plans to release treated waste water from tanks at the crippled Fukushima power plant into the Pacific Ocean. The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries co-operative Association is strongly opposed to such an outcome, explained the association’s representative Sawada Tadaaki, who also expressed concerns about the damage such reports could do to the area’s fishing industry. “As we insist, we would like to ask the government to take action by storing treated water in the tank of the nuclear power plant without releasing it into the ocean. In addition, we would like to request such measures so that the damage caused by (such) rumours will not spread any further,” he stated. Tadaaki explained that even after insisting on fish safety and seeking the understanding of customers, the fishing industry in Fukushima has been facing numerous difficulties since the 2011 nuclear disaster. These include reputational damage and distribution problems, which might be worsened if waste water from Fukushima were to be released into the Pacific. “We would like to manage to distribute fish from Fukushima while solving such problems one by one,” he stated. A worker at Numanouchi Ichiba fish Market also expressed concerns regarding the current situation, stressing however that, “it’s probably impossible to oppose it because it’s already decided by the government.” Japanese media say the government plans to pump over one million tonnes of treated radioactive water into the ocean in 2022 as tanks start to reach capacity. Some of the water has been used to cool damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant in the wake of the massive tsunami which hit the site in 2011. Concerns have arisen that the water could contaminate local fishing stocks, since not all radioactive isotopes are removed by the site’s filtration process. However, the government has yet to make an official announcement and is reportedly considering a range of options. (ruptly.tv)