After the start of discharging tritium-containing cooling water from the site of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called on China to take action against harassing telephone calls. The Japan Times reports and explains that companies, schools and authorities in Japan are the targets of the calls. Some have received hundreds of calls complaining about the dumping. A number with +86 from China is displayed as the area code; the complaints were then made in broken English or Japanese, or in some cases in presumably Chinese. There were also attacks on China’s embassy in Beijing.
Experts see no reason to panic
Japan began discharging water into the sea last Thursday that was used to cool reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. There was a core meltdown 12 years ago as a result of a violent earthquake and a massive tsunami. Since then, the cooling water has been stored in more than 1000 huge tanks, but the space is slowly running out. The derivation into the Pacific can no longer be postponed, it has been said from Japan. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved the plan in early July. A tunnel more than one kilometer long was built specifically for the dumping, and the discharge is estimated to take more than 30 years.
While those responsible in Japan and the IAEA have assured that the impact of the discharge of the cooling water on people and the environment will be “negligible”, fishing associations in particular have concerns. They fear that the reputation of their products will continue to suffer. Criticism also comes from environmental protection associations such as Greenpeace and from neighboring countries such as Russia and China. The People’s Republic has imposed a complete ban on imports of fishery products from the neighboring country – regardless of where exactly they were caught. Meanwhile, experts point out that nuclear power plants around the world have been routinely discharging contaminated cooling water into the sea for decades.
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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with its six reactor blocks before the disaster. It is approximately 250 km from Tokyo as the crow flies. All six blocks are based on the boiling water reactor series BWR 3 to BWR 5 from the US company General Electric; They were built between 1971 and 1979. Unit 1 was originally scheduled to be shut down at the end of March 2011, but the Japanese authorities approved a ten-year extension in February 2011.
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