Former Japanese politician Yasuhiro Sonoda publicly drank half a cup of radioactive water that he claimed had been treated in October 2011. (Screen grab from YouTube video)

Chinese academic: Can we die from drinking Fukushima treated wastewater?

With the uproar around the Fukushima treated wastewater at a peak, Chinese academic Zhang Tiankan takes a look at historical and scientific facts that help us understand the risks and effects of drinking treated nuclear-contaminated water. Is the fear justified?
A protester holds signs during a rally against the discharging of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean, in front of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, on 25 August 2023. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Japanese academic: China's strong views about Fukushima water will affect Japan-China relations

Propaganda campaigns against Japan may leave China turning a deaf ear to Japan’s explanations about the discharge of Fukushima treated water, says Japanese academic Shin Kawashima. This can only have dire consequences for Japan-China relations.
Protestors attend a rally against Japan's plan to discharge treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean, in front of the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the nuclear plant in Tokyo, Japan, on 24 August 2023. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Frostier Japan-China ties with Fukushima treated wastewater discharge

Japan’s discharge of treated nuclear wastewater into the sea has dealt another blow to the political, economic and trade relations between China and Japan. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan elaborates.
Nearly a hundred people gathered outside the headquarters of TEPCO, owner of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, to protest the planned discharge of Fukushima wastewater into the sea, 5 July 2023. (CNS)

[Big read] Doubts over Fukushima wastewater release hard to overcome

It has been 12 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and the resulting tsunami that damaged a nuclear power plant at Fukushima. As plans progress to release treated wastewater from the nuclear power plant into the sea, Lianhe Zaobao journalists Tan Jet Min and Foo Choo Wei explore the challenges in the decision, as well as the difficulties facing related industries, such as fishing.
Tanks of decontaminated tritiated water are seen within the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is debating whether to dump into the sea water which has been decontaminated but still contains tritium. (SPH Media)

Japanese academic: A hard look at the true impact of Fukushima Daiichi water release

Amid protests by Japan's neighbours, China and South Korea, as well as by environmentalists about Japan's impending release of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japanese academic Koji Okamoto explains that the radioactive substance “tritrium” present in the treated water to be released is naturally present in the environment. In fact, the release of the treated water is of negligible impact compared to the originally present tritium or tritium being released in currently operational nuclear power plants around the world.
Protestors hold slogans as they take part in a rally against the Japanese government's decision to release treated water from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean, outside of the prime minister's office in Tokyo, Japan, on 13 April 2021. (Yuki Iwamura/AFP)

Fukushima wastewater: Why China is protesting while the US gives the nod

Japan’s neighbours, China the most vociferous among them, have protested against Japan’s decision to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean in two years’ time. On the other hand, Western countries have been accused of making minimal noise on account that it’s Japan. Is this another case of geopolitics politicising the situation? Would the world have reacted differently if it were China doing the dumping?