Japan: Japan’s fisheries agency has said that fish tested in waters around the Fukushima nuclear plant did not contain detectable levels of the radioactive isotope tritium, according to the Kyodo news service.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the plant operator, started releasing treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean on 24th August 2023. This move has upset fishermen and many people in Japan, raised concerns among neighboring countries’ consumers and led China to prohibit Japanese aquatic products. The agency is releasing test results on a daily basis.
Tepco stated that seawater near the plant contained less than 10 becquerels of tritium per liter, below its self-imposed limit of 700 becquerels and far below the World Health Organization’s (WHO) limit of 10,000 becquerels for drinking water.
Mr. Tony Hooker, who serves as the director of the Centre for Radiation Research Education and Innovation at the University of Adelaide, said that the water discharged from the Fukushima plant is considered safe.
“It certainly is well below the World Health Organization drinking water guidelines. It’s a very political issue of disposing radiation into the sea. I understand people’s concerns, and that’s because we as scientists have not explained it in a very good way, and we need to do more education,” Mr. Hooker quoted.
However, some researchers have warned that the long-term effects of the low-level radioactivity that remains in the water need attention. Beijing has remarked that they will adapt and update regulatory measures as needed to safeguard the health and food safety of their nation from the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water.