Japan Cabinet passes bill to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear accident into Pacific ocean – Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

In a paper published in the National Science Review, a team from Tsinghua University analyzed the diffusion process of the treated Fukushima accident contaminated water to be discharged into the Pacific Ocean from 2023. Results show that the tritium, the main pollutant in the radioactive water, will spread to the whole North Pacific in 1200 days…

On 26 August 2021, the Japanese Cabinet passed a bill to discharge the treated water into the Pacific Ocean to alleviate the problem of nuclear wastewater storage. However, large amounts of radionuclides can affect marine biological chains and adversely influence marine fisheries and human health. The global effects of Fukushima discharge, which will last 30 to 40 years, remain unknown. Thus, identifying the diffusion process of radioactive water in oceans is critical.

In 1200 days, the pollutants will cover almost the whole North Pacific region, reaching as far as the coast of North America to the east, and the Australia to the south. The pollutants will then spread rapidly to the South Pacific Ocean, under the influence of the equatorial current along the Panama Canal. The Indian Ocean will also be influenced, due to waters infilling from north of Australia, in 2400 days. On day 3600, the pollutants will cover almost the entire Pacific Ocean. Notably, although the contaminated water is discharged near the Japanese island, the contamination center (represented by yellow and red in Fig. b and c) will over time move eastward along the 35 degrees N latitude line.

Tracking contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear accident – Fukushima 311 Watchdogs