Monday, February 14, 2022

‘Not a dumping ground’: Pacific condemns Fukushima water plan | Al Jazeera

Pacific condemns Fukushima water plan

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands says there is a viable alternative to Japan’s plan to dump more than 1 million tonnes of treated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power station into the Pacific Ocean, and it requires urgent consideration.

The wastewater is a product of efforts to cool the nuclear reactors at Fukushima that were badly damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The Northern Mariana Islands, a United States territory with a population of about 51,659 people, is located only 2,500km (1,553 miles) southeast of Japan. The islands’ leaders have declared that Japan’s plan, officially announced last year, is unacceptable.

“The expectation is that the discharge will not happen until 2023. There is time to overturn this decision,” Sheila J Babauta, a member of the Northern Mariana Islands’s House of Representatives, told Al Jazeera in an interview last month. In December, its government adopted a joint resolution opposing any nation’s decision to dispose of nuclear waste in the Pacific Ocean.

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