A group of Japanese fishermen has sent an official statement to Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi expressing their opposition to the plan to release a portion of the contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. The plan is one of the proposed solutions to the leakage problem at the crippled plant.
JF Zengyoren, a union of Japanese fisheries cooperatives, said that they would never accept the discharge of the irradiated water into the ocean, even if, as the government says, they will bring the level down first to below the legal limits for dumping. The statement said they cannot “swallow by any measure” the remarks made by Nuclear Regulation Authority Shunichi Tanaka who said the release into the ocean may be a necessary step towards solving the storage problem of the irradiated water at the plant.
Before the recent news about the leaks, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said they have been trying to negotiate with the fishermen to get their permission to build a pipeline that would lead the groundwater around the reactors into the ocean. But recent revelations have complicated matters, especially when news came out that the areas that were previously thought as free from the contaminated water has actually been the site of leakages that may have gone back for months or years. This has sorely affected the fishing industry in the region, before they have even begun to get their bearings. South Korea announced that it is banning all fishery products from eight prefectures in northeast Japan because of concerns about radiation contamination. Included in the ban are the prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Aomori in the Tohoku region and Tochigi, Ibaraki and Chiba in the Kanto region.
[ via Bloomberg ]
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