A team of international scientists has launched the first study to assess whether the release of water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan had any environmental damage. The investigation is being conducted by the UN Nuclear Safety Oversight Authority and began with collecting fish samples in the area this Thursday.

In August, the Japanese government stepped up the controlled release of water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean. The 2011 earthquake triggered a tsunami on the country’s northeast coast, which caused several explosions at a nuclear power plant that released some of the radioactive fuel. More than a million tons of water were contaminated at its facilities.

Therefore, all these years this water has been purified from most contaminants. The water release is part of the plan to permanently dismantle the plant.

Japan insists the measure does not pose any risk. His plan also received approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). UN watchdog body currently coordinating the first environmental impact studies.

“The Japanese government asked us to do this, and one of the reasons they want us to do this is to try to build confidence in the data that Japan produces,” said Paul McGinnity, an IAEA scientist who oversees collection of samples. Reuters.

Fish contamination is one of the main problems of Fukushima

Although the UN approves of the operation, several governments and organizations have expressed their concerns. Among them is China, which has restricted all seafood imports from Japan due to food safety concerns. Russia did the same.

Greenpeace said the water release ignores scientific evidence, violates the human rights of communities and does not comply with international maritime law. An environmental organization in August condemned what it considered “deliberate pollution of the Pacific Ocean with releases of radioactive waste”

Scientists from China, South Korea and Canada are taking part in the IAEA study. The fish freshly unloaded from the ship were sampled at the port of Hisanohama, about 50 kilometers south of the plant. The collected material will be sent to laboratories in these countries for independent testing. assured the UN body.

The South Korean government also said it plans to conduct its own study to detect tritium levels in seafood. Vice Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Park Sung-hoon said Thursday they hope to begin testing before the end of the year.

Tritium is a substance that could not be removed from the discharged water. However, Japan specified that the water is diluted until the level of this radioactive substance is so low that it is harmless. Article from Scientific American 2014 warns that when Ingesting very high concentrations of tritium can increase the risk of cancer.

Source: Hiper Textual

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