The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog says Japan can release nuclear waste water into the ocean

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sanctioned Japan’s plan to release more than a million tons of treated nuclear waste water from the Fukushima power plant into the ocean, despite strong international objection.

The plan: According to a report by the IAEA, the Japanese plan involves treating and releasing the nuclear waste water into the Pacific Ocean over the next 30 to 40 years.
* The process of releasing the waste water has been considered consistent with international safety standards and is believed by the IAEA to have an insignificant radiological effect on people and the environment.
* Japan, however, hasn’t specified when the water release will commence, as it awaited IAEA’s approval.

Criticism and concerns: Many scientists, along with neighboring countries and Pacific Island nations, have expressed grave concerns over the plan.
* Critics argue that there is insufficient evidence to affirm that no harmful elements will be released into the ocean.
* Neighboring countries argue that the waste water release is a transboundary issue, potentially affecting the global marine environment and public health.
* Pacific Island communities, in particular, deem the plan as a threat to their livelihoods and continuation of the Pacific’s traumatizing relationship with nuclear technology.

Response: IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has assured that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog will be monitoring the discharge on-site. There is also some support from the leaders of Micronesia and Papua New Guinea, who trust the Japanese government to uphold safety regulations.
* Despite the International backing, critics maintain concern about the potential consequences, with many calling for more evidence of safety and transparency in the process.

View original article on NPR

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