Politics, Asia - Pacific

China urges Japan to halt plans to discharge nuclear waste after reports of leakage

Leak found in hose used to transfer treated water from Fukushima plant

Esra Tekin  | 17.08.2023 - Update : 17.08.2023
China urges Japan to halt plans to discharge nuclear waste after reports of leakage


China urged Japan again Thursday to stop the ocean discharge of treated nuclear waste from the crippled Fukushima power plant.

“The legitimacy and safety of Japan’s ocean discharge plan have long been questioned by the international community,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, who urged Tokyo to engage in “honest communication” with neighboring nations.

His comments were in response to the latest reports of a leak in the nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

As Japan moves ahead with its controversial plans to release treated nuclear waste into the sea, authorities have detected “higher-than-usual levels” of radioactive material in rainwater around a storage tank earlier this month.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said the leak was found “in a hose used to transfer treated water.”

Wang charged the Japanese government with a “lack of effective regulation” of the nuclear plant.

“Can TEPCO handle the waste water in a safe and responsible way throughout the process? Can it manage the 30-year-long discharge without mistakes and errors? Can it ensure the long-term effectiveness and reliability of the treatment facility? Can it conduct waste water sampling and monitoring activities in strict compliance with the rules? The international community is very much doubtful about that,” he said.

Amid criticism from neighbors, especially China, Japan is set to release the treated nuclear water in the next few weeks.

Japan said it plans to treat the nuclear waste to “reduce tritium levels to about one-seventh of the World Health Organization’s guidelines for drinking water quality before releasing it into the sea.”

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