Fukushima Water Issue


  • Japanese and Chinese Experts held talks to assuage concerns over the discharge of treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.


  • The discharges have been opposed by fishing groups and neighboring countries, especially China, which banned all imports of Japanese seafood.
  • China’s move has largely affected Japanese scallop growers and exporters to China.

What is the Fukushima Water Issue?

  • In 2021, Japan’s government announced plans to release over one million tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea over the next 30 years.
  • The wastewater is a byproduct of the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which disabled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, leading to the release of radioactive materials.
  • After more than a decade of storing this wastewater, Japan says they are running out of storage space, and alleges that the now-treated water is safe for release.

Nuclear Disasters

  • A nuclear and radiation accident is an event that has led to significant consequences for people, the environment, or the facility.
  • Examples include lethal effects to individuals, large radioactivity release to the environment, or reactor core melt.
  • Worldwide there have been 99 accidents at nuclear power plants.
  • Fifty-seven accidents have occurred since the Chornobyl disaster, and 57% of all nuclear-related accidents have occurred in the USA.
  • Serious nuclear power plant accidents include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), the Chernobyl disaster (1986), the Three Mile Island accident (1979), and the SL-1 accident (1961).

Concerns Over the Fukushima Water Release

  • Tritium and Carbon-14: Fukushima water is filtered through the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), which reduces most radioactive substances to acceptable safety standards, apart from tritium and carbon-14.
  • Both emit very low levels of radiation but can pose a risk if consumed in large quantities.
  • Lack of Study: The scientists say it requires more studies on how it would affect the ocean bed and marine life.
  • The Pacific Islands Forum regional group has called the plan “another major nuclear contamination disaster”, as several of its members are still dealing with the consequences of US nuclear testing.
Nuclear Energy Summit 2024

– The first-ever Nuclear Energy Summit was recently held in Brussels.

– It highlighted the role of nuclear energy in addressing the global challenges to reduce the use of fossil fuels, enhance energy security, and boost economic development.

– The Summit comes in the wake of the historic inclusion of nuclear energy in the Global Stocktake agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai in 2023.