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Environment Japan to release treated Fukushima water into the sea

The Japanese government considers beginning the release of treated radioactive water between late August and early September, even though local fishermen and some countries remain opposed to the plan.

The government is expected to determine the specific date to start releasing the water after Prime Minister Fumiko Kishida returns on 20 August from a trilateral summit with the United States and South Korea to be held at the Camp David presidential retreat near Washington. The Japanese prime minister is expected to explain the water discharge plan to U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the summit on 18 August, the sources said.

Wouldn't it be better to explain the release to the local fishermen and those staunchly opposed neighbours?
Yesterday PM Kishida toured the plant and talked to the head of the fisheries organisation:

With fishermen remaining concerned over how their businesses could be affected by the move, Kishida also told reporters that he plans to meet with the head of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations on Monday. While Kishida refrained from specifying the exact timing of the start of the water release during the visit, he has been preparing to meet with other Cabinet ministers on Tuesday to make the final decision on the issue, with the end of the month eyed. "This issue is a challenge that cannot be postponed for the sake of proceeding with decommissioning (of the plant's crippled reactors) and Fukushima's reconstruction progress," the prime minister said.

Paywall alert:

Also, yesterday, the NYT had a longish feature on the Japanese-South Korean relations and the severe strain the planned water release places on the new-found detente.

Japan's imminent decision to release more than 1.3 million tons of treated water at Fukushima Daiichi, the power plant destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, has raised alarms across the Pacific. But in South Korea, it has triggered a particularly raucous political debate, with the government of President Yoon Suk Yeol and its enemies slugging it out through banners, YouTube videos, news conferences and protests. What sets South Korea apart from other critics in the region is that its government has endorsed Japan's discharge plan despite widespread public misgiving, only asking Japan to provide transparency to ensure the water is discharged correctly. The authorities are running online advertisements and holding daily news briefings to dispel what they call fear-mongering by the opposition and to convince the people that the water will not harm them. But the continued uproar in South Korea over the discharge has threatened to complicate the progress the United States, Japan and South Korea have made in recent months to build a stronger trilateral partnership. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the Fukushima site on Sunday, signalling that the water release date would be announced soon, perhaps as early as this week.

It looks like the release will commence tomorrow.

The decision caused an uproar among locals fishermen and activists:

Fishermen and other locals in northeastern Japan have expressed opposition to the government's decision Tuesday to begin discharging treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea later this week. One fishing industry worker in coastal Fukushima Prefecture said the decision to start releasing the water Thursday was a "surprise attack" because it was made without the national fisheries federation first being notified. In the capital, too, activists came out to protest the move. Takashi Nakajima, who runs a supermarket in Soma in the prefecture that sells local seafood, expressed anger, saying, "It's like a scheme to release the water before public opposition can flare up."

I'd put it all in a large tanker and drop it off the coast of North Korea. Set it on autopilot to land on their coast with a remote explosion and cover it with Chinese identification so they get the blame. 007 thought that up.
Maybe not north korea, but since the chinese don't want 'contaminated' seafood, maybe transporting the water to, and releasing it in, areas that are being overfished could be a way to get those supposedly massive chinese fishing fleets (or others) to back off.
Here's a piece by the BBC on the Chinese government and the South Korean opposition abusing the water release for political purposes.

Their conclusion:

"This incident is more of a symptom than a cause of worsening Sino-Japanese relations," said Chinese foreign policy expert Neil Thomas with the Asia Society Policy Institute. "Beijing may have made less of a fuss about the water release if its relationship with Tokyo was in a better place." In return, Japan is likely to "reject this criticism, but they are unlikely to do anything provocative," said James DJ Brown, a professor specialising in Japanese foreign policy at Temple University's Japan campus. "While Japan's government is deeply concerned by what it sees as the aggressive actions of the Chinese Communist Party, they understand that it is in their interests to maintain stable relations with their larger neighbour." But it may not need to wait for long. Some observers believe that China may not stick with the ban. "China's growing economic difficulties could mean that any ban is relatively brief and narrow to limit the negative impact on Chinese importers and business sentiment," said Mr Thomas.

While nothing else could be expected of the CCP, unfortunately, this hysteria is a harbinger of what will come when South Korea's opposition party takes over.
No words...

A rock and several eggs were thrown at Japanese schools in China amid backlash against Tokyo's controversial release of treated radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. A Chinese man was detained for hurling a rock at a school for Japanese children in Qingdao, in the eastern province of Shandong, on the evening of Aug. 24, according to Japanese government officials. On the morning of Aug. 25, officials at another Japanese school in Suzhou, west of Shanghai, found eggs thrown into the school compound. No injuries or damage to property have been reported in these two incidents. Japanese consulates general in China urged local authorities to strengthen security around Japanese facilities there.

While the hysteria stirred by the CCP and the South Korean opposition parties prevails, both PM Kishida and Pres. Yoon feasted on seafood from Fukushima.

PM Kishida indulging in seafood from Fukushima

In 1990 John Gummer, then the agriculture minister, was ridiculed after eating a beefburger with his four-year-old daughter, Cordelia, to dispel fears over mad cow disease. Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister, has tried a similar stunt, being filmed eating fish from Fukushima to prove it was safe. Days earlier, Kishida's government had begun to discharge 1.3 million metric tonnes of wastewater into the Pacific from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant more than a decade after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

ll week, seafood will be on the lunch menu at South Korea's presidential office. On Wednesday, President Yoon Suk Yeol and other government officials will dine on sea squirts with mixed rice and vegetables. On Monday, roasted mackerel and various cuts of raw fish were served, and the week will wrap up with raw fish soup on Friday. The president does not normally announce his lunch dishes, but this week's fare has a political ingredient: The dishes were chosen to encourage South Koreans to consume seafood "with confidence," Yoon's office said, at a time when demand for seafood is dropping due to the release of treated wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in neighboring Japan.

Paywall alert:
Political stunts like always. I wouldn't be shocked if the seafood is actually not from anywhere near where the contaminated water is being released.

Still, this seems both appropriate and comical to leave here. :D

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Lapse of tongue? Fisheries minister Nomura Tetsuro was scolded by his boss last Thursday for calling the released water "contaminated."

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered his fisheries minister to apologise on Thursday for referring to treated radioactive water being released from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant as "contaminated" and told him to retract his remark. Fisheries minister Tetsuro Nomura was heard calling the treated radioactive water "contaminated" when speaking to reporters earlier in the day following a meeting with Kishida. He said his discussions with the premier involved "the evaluation of the contaminated water" after its release into the Pacific. Nomura later apologised and retracted the comment but said he would not resign over it, the Jiji news service reported.

I wonder what the official terminology is: "treated", "diluted", "radioactive", "formerly contaminated"....?


Meanwhile, the government is stepping up efforts to gain more international support and understanding about releasing treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.

China has just made it clear that all its allegations and attacks are political. Rather than collaborating with the Fukushima water framework, the CCP seems more interested in festering the hysterical protests by spreading disinformation.

China rejects Japan's suggestion of joining Fukushima water framework

Under the framework, participating countries will compare, analyze and evaluate the results of the monitoring carried out respectively by the Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency on seawater off Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. In order to guarantee the objectivity of international evaluations, Japan does not participate in the framework. The research institutions participating in the framework are selected by an entity related to the IAEA. It currently involves institutions from the United States, France, Switzerland and South Korea. Since early this year, Tokyo has repeatedly asked Beijing through diplomatic channels to participate in the monitoring efforts, but has had its requests rejected by China under the argument that the framework "does not guarantee" independent analysis of the released water, the sources said.

Chinese sites awash with fake news on water release program

State-backed disinformation fuelling anger in China over Fukushima water

The Japanese government reported yesterday that no detectable amount of tritium has been found in fish samples taken from waters near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where the discharge of treated radioactive water into the sea began a month ago. That will not stop some of Japan's neighbours from continuing their boycott of Japanese seafood imports.

What's funny is that Chinese fish trawlers were spotted fishing in waters deemed contaminated by the Chinese government a few days ago.

Tritium was not detected in the latest sample of two olive flounders caught Sunday, the Fisheries Agency said on its website. The agency has provided almost daily updates since the start of the water release to dispel harmful rumours domestically and internationally about its environmental impact. The results of the first collected samples were published on 9 August, before the discharge of treated water from the complex commenced on 24 August. The water had been used to cool melted nuclear fuel at the plant but has undergone a treatment process that removes most radionuclides except tritium. The remaining tritium is then diluted to one-40th of the concentration permitted under Japanese safety standards before being released into the Pacific Ocean via an underwater tunnel one kilometre from the seaside plant, which was wrecked by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

According to TEPCO, the second batch of treated water will start to be discharged on 5 October over around 17 days, with approximately 7,800 tons, the same amount as the first discharge.

Preparations will begin next Tuesday to check tritium levels when the treated water is diluted with sea water before release. [...] No abnormal tritium levels have been detected in seawater or fish samples collected from around the nuclear power plant so far.

Recent surveys found that 50% of the Chinese polled were worried about the water release, while 70% of South Koreans opposed it.

It's also been reported that China will join the monitoring of radioactive substances in seawater and seafood products in the area.

Japan said on 11 October that such analyses by the International Atomic Energy Agency and a third-party institution formed by China, South Korea and Canada will start on 16 October. Although a third-party analysis of radioactive concentrations in the ocean and marine products has been conducted since 2015, this will be the first time for China to participate in the monitoring. According to the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the IAEA and the third-party institution will collect samples of seawater, seabed soil, fish and seaweed for preliminary processing between 16 and 23 October.

Recent surveys found that 50% of the Chinese polled were worried about the water release, while 70% of South Koreans opposed it.

It's also been reported that China will join the monitoring of radioactive substances in seawater and seafood products in the area.

I'm all for measuring things! I hope their findings are open and publicly available. I suspect that unless the levels of radiation are alarming, this will be a very quiet space in the future, and give way to other wedge issues to distract local ire.
According to the IAEA, the Fukushima water release is proceeding well.

It would be interesting to know what the Chinese scientists reported back home.

"I would say that the first two batches of releases went well. No issues were observed," Lydie Evrard, IAEA deputy director general and head of the department of nuclear safety and security, told a Tokyo news conference. She said she visited Fukushima Daiichi on Friday for a firsthand look. Evrard's visit came on the heels of a marine sampling mission by another IAEA team that included scientists from China, South Korea and Canada. She said all participants in that mission said their activity went well. She did not say whether Chinese scientists acknowledged the safety of the release. She said China has been involved in the IAEA safety task force since the beginning of the review that began two years ago and has participated in corroboration activities. The IAEA is aware of China's concern and engaged with its authorities, Evrard said.

According to the IAEA, the Fukushima water release is proceeding well.

It would be interesting to know what the Chinese scientists reported back home.

I read that and thought "wow, they really DO have everything at IKEA!"

My money is still on "we won't hear about this for a long while unless there's something salacious to report"
It would be interesting to know what the Chinese scientists reported back home.
The challenge for China's scientists these days seems to be a Korean boycott of its products.

It would seem that someone peeing in the beer is more abhorrent and may cause more blowback than releasing 'radioactive' water into the ocean.

Someone inform THESE FOLKS 👇

of THAT 👇

The International Atomic Energy Agency wrapped up its safety review Friday, two months after the discharge began at the northeastern Japan complex devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011. It plans to compile a report on its latest four-day mission by year-end. The IAEA safety review "will continue to proceed in an independent, objective, science-based and transparent manner, during the discharge and after," it said on its website. Seven IAEA officials and experts from nine of the 11 task force member countries, including China and Russia — which have criticized the release and imposed import bans on Japanese seafood — took part in the review mission, which involved an on-site inspection of the water treatment and discharge facilities at the nuclear complex.
Today, Japa concluded the third round of discharging treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.


Kyodo News

The total amount of tritium released into the sea is expected to be around 5 trillion becquerels, less than a quarter of the annual limit of 22 trillion becquerels.

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