HomeCommunity IssuesNuclear water released into Pacific alarms Pacific Islanders

Nuclear water released into Pacific alarms Pacific Islanders

Japan today began releasing nuclear wastewater from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant into the Pacific Ocean, causing concern among Pacific Islanders and China.

“As an individual, I believe that’s not proper,” said one Pacific Island resident to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Every South Pacific Island leader, we need to come against what Japan does in the South Pacific,” said another.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has not been operational since 2011 when a large wave flooded its reactors following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. The Japanese have used water to cool the reactors. Today it began dumping the water into the Pacific, the BBC reported.

“This water adds to the already nuclear-polluted ocean. This threatens the lives and livelihoods of islanders heavily reliant on marine resources. These include inshore fisheries as well as pelagic fishes such as tuna, Vijay Naidu, adjunct professor at the School of Law and Social Sciences at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, told Al Jazeera.

According to CNN, China announced today it is banning all seafood from Japan because of the release of wastewater.

Beijing described it as a “selfish and irresponsible act.”

Japan counters the release is safe and is needed to clear out space at the plant.The discharge began at midnight Eastern time today.

The United States has long backed Japan’s plan saying it “appears to have adopted an approach in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards” and that the Japanese have “been transparent about its decision,” reported Reuters.

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