Russia joins China and South Korea in expressing 'serious concern' at Japan's plan to release waste water from the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Marianne Guenot
·2 min read
Fukushima decommissioning wastewater 2021
An areal view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant undergoing decommissioning work and tanks (bottom) for storing treated water. STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images
  • Russia expressed "serious concern" about Japan's wastewater plan on Tuesday.

  • Japan intends to gradually release irradiated water from the Fukushima power plant in the sea.

  • Russia followed Japan's other neighbors - China and South Korea - in objecting.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Russia expressed "serious concern" over Japan's plan to release treated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the ocean.

Japan announced on Tuesday that it plans to gradually waste water from the Fukushima power plant, which was the site in 2011 of one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.

"We express serious concern in this regard and expect the government of Japan to demonstrate due transparency," Maria the spokesperson for Russia's Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday.

Russia is asking for a "detailed explanations on all aspects" of Japan's plan to discharge radioactive water into the ocean, Zakharova said, deeming Japan's explanations so far to be "insufficient."

China and South Korea have also condemned the move, calling it "highly irresponsible" and "unacceptable."

Their statements are a contrast to those by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which said in a statement on Tuesday that the procedure was safe and not especially unusual. The US has also praised Japan's plan.

Nonetheless, Japan's three nearest neighbors - China, Russia, and South Korea - are all unhappy. In response to the announcement, South Korea summoned Japan's ambassador and Seoul is looking into ways to bring Japan's decision to an international court.

Russia also expressed regret at the fact that Japan did not consult it on these plans before going ahead, according to TASS, a Russian state news wire.

Zakharova said that among other missing information, official information provided by Japan does not include an assessment of environmental risks for the Pacific Region.

North Korea has not formally objected to the latest move, but has opposed previous versions of the plan.

According to the plan, more than 1 million tons of wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant which was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, will be gradually released into the ocean in two years.

The water is currently being held in steel tanks, but space is running out. The water has been treated to remove most of the radioactive contaminants, but one element, tritium, remains.

Tritium is fairly harmless in low concentrations and releasing the water gradually into the ocean will allow for the contaminant to be diluted below World Health Organisation-recommended healthy levels, Japan has said.

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