Bring voices from the coast into the Fukushima treated water debate


October 28, 2022

More than a decade has passed since the accident at the Fukushima Dai’ichi nuclear power plant in Japan—but the most contentious aspect of bringing the site under control is only just beginning. The Japanese Government has approved plant operator TEPCO’s plan to release treated water into the Pacific Ocean. That water is currently being stored onsite and retains some radioactive substances after treatment. The decision to release this water has provoked political contention and societal concern. South Korea, China, and Taiwan, as well as international environmental nongovernmental organizations, have expressed strong concern; and fisheries cooperatives in Japan remain opposed to the releases for fear of possible reputational impacts on Fukushima seafood. TEPCO are confirming specific details of the release process, and an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) task force has made multiple visits to the Fukushima Dai’ichi site at the behest of the Japanese Government and TEPCO…

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