Japan will start releasing tons of treated radioactive waste water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant!
Take a look at the viral warnings, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Fukushima Waste Water Will Contaminate Japanese Food!
People are now sharing articles about the impending release of radioactive waste water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, with warnings about contaminated Japanese food!
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No Evidence Fukushima Waste Water Will Contaminate Japanese Food
The decision of the Japanese government to release the radioactive Fukushima waste water is an emotionally-charged event that has triggered condemnation by many people all over the world.
It doesn’t help that there is now a wave of warnings about contaminated Japanese food on social media and instant messaging platforms.
Take some deep breaths and CALM yourself down. Then consider what we know so far about all these warnings.
Fact #1 : Japan Approved Release Of Fukushima Waste Water
On Tuesday, 22 August 2023, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida approved the release of the radioactive waste water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, at a meeting of Cabinet ministers involved in the plan.
He instructed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s operators, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) to get ready to release the waste water from Thursday onwards, if weather and sea conditions permit.
At the cabinet meeting, Kishida said that the release of the waste water is an essential step to decommissioning the nuclear plant, and continue with the recover of the Fukushima prefecture after the 11 March 2011 disaster.
Fact #2 : IAEA Approved Release Of Fukushima Waste Water
The International Atomic Agency (IAEA) conducted a safety review of Japan’s plans to release treated water into the Pacific Ocean.
After nearly two years of work, the IAEA released a report (PDF download) on 4 July 2023. The IAEA concluded that the plan are “consistent with relevant international safety standards“, and would have “negligible radiological impact on people and the environment“.
Fact #3 : Fukushima Uses Water To Cool Fuel Rods
Now, it is necessary to understand WHY there is even radioactive waste water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
After the plant’s cooling systems were destroyed by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami, three of its nuclear reactors melted down. The reactors were also damaged by explosions caused by the release of hydrogen gas.
To prevent further damage to the reactors, TEPCO has been pumping water to cool the nuclear fuel rods. The water, which is now contaminated with radioactive elements, is then stored in massive tanks.
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Fact #4 : Fukushima Water Tanks Keep Leaking!
Currently, about 1.3 million tonnes of radioactive water is stored in over 1,000 gigantic tanks at the nuclear plant.
Obviously, this is not a sustainable solution for TEPCO in the long-term, as they have to keep building new tanks, and old tanks will eventually leak. Or the water may be accidentally released.
- In August 2013, TEPCO revealed that 300 metric tonnes of highly-radioactive water leaked from a storage tank.
- In October 2013, TEPCO revealed that another tank was leaking, and some of the highly-radioactive water may have reached the ocean.
- In February 2014, TEPCO revealed that a valve left open by mistake allowed about 100 tonnes of highly-radioactive water to overflow from a storage tank.
- In October 2016, about 32 litres of highly-radioactive water leaked from a seam in a water tank.
Regardless of what we may think about the release of radioactive water into the ocean, it doesn’t appear to be practical to keep all that water in tanks that will eventually leak.
It is arguably much safer to treat and discharge the water, instead of risking these inevitable leaks of highly-radioactive water.
Fact #5 : Fukushima Waste Water Is Filtered + Treated Before Release
To be clear – TEPCO isn’t going to just release the radioactive water into the ocean. The Fukushima waste water is being filtered using the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) to remove most of its radioactivity.
The ALPS uses a series of chemical reactions to remove 62 radionuclides from the contaminated water, leaving only tritium and carbon-14. Tritium and carbon-14 are radioactive forms of hydrogen and carbon, which makes them difficult to separate from water.
The treated waste water is then diluted with seawater to reduce the concentration of tritium and carbon-14 before it is released into the ocean.
The final level of tritium is estimated at 1,500 becquerels per litre, which is lower than what is required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for release, and even lower than the WHO limit for drinking water.
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Fact #6 : Fukushima Waste Water To Be Released Over 30 Years
Most people are not aware that nuclear power plants around the world regularly release waste water containing higher tritium levels than the treated waste water from Fukushima.
Of course, TEPCO will be releasing A LOT MORE waste water than those power plants, having accumulated over 1.3 million tonnes over the last 12 years or so.
That’s why TEPCO will gradually release the treated Fukushima waste water into the Pacific Ocean over an extended period of 30 years.
According to molecular pathology expert Gerry Thomas, who worked with Japanese scientists on radiation research, and advised the IAEA on the Fukushima reports:
Fact #7 : Tritium Has Short Half-Life
Tritium has a short radioactive half-life of 12.32 years. What this means is that tritium will rapidly degrade:
- only half the amount would remain after 12.32 years
- a quarter will remain after 24.64 years
In other words, some of the waste water in Fukushima now has half the amount of tritium than was originally present when it was collected 12 years ago!
And if water collected in August 2023 was only released at the end of the 30 year discharge timeline, only 18.5% of its original quantity of tritium would remain in the water.
This is part of the reason why tritium paint is no longer used in premium watches to provide illuminated dials – its brightness keeps halving every 12 years!
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Fact #8 : Tritium + Carbon-14 Occur Naturally
Both tritium and carbon-14 emit very low levels of radiation through beta radiation, which has low penetrating power – it can be stopped by nothing more than a layer of clothing or aluminium foil!
But more importantly, both tritium and carbon-14 occur naturally in the environment, and only pose a risk to human life if consumed in large quantities.
Unless you plan to drink a lot of undiluted Fukushima waste water to prove a point, you are unlikely to suffer radiation poisoning.
Fact #9 : Waste Water Will Be Discharged Into Ocean
Finally, let me end by simply pointing out that the Fukushima waste water isn’t going to be used to irrigate Japanese farms. So there is no risk to Japanese farm produce.
There is also no evidence that the treated waste water will contaminate Japanese seafood as the treated Fukushima waste water will be released into the ocean, which will further dilute the concentration of the tritium and carbon-14 nucleotides.
Fact #10 : Contaminated Fish Mostly Limited To Fukushima Area
There have been reports that fish living near the drainage outlets at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was found to have radioactive caesium 180X higher than Japan’s safety limit.
However, that contamination cannot be from the discharge of the treated waste water (which has not occurred and would not contain radioactive caesium), but is mostly caused by untreated contaminated water that has been leaking from the nuclear plant for many years now.
In other words, the discovery of such contaminated fish is evidence that the waste water should be treated, instead of being left untreated in storage tanks to risk further leaks.
TEPCO installed nets in January 2016 to contain contaminated fish inside the area. However, these nets have apparently failed, allowing contaminated fish to escape. That’s why regular sampling is now conducted in the area to detect such leaks.
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