Chinese officials criticise Japan’s plan to release Fukushima wastewater into ocean as “irresponsible”

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Zhang Kejian, chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority.

7th June 2023 – (Beijing) Two Chinese officials have criticised Japan’s plan to discharge radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean, calling it “irresponsible.” Zhang Kejian, chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority, made the comments during a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, stating that Japan’s plan is not a private matter but a significant issue that affects the global marine environment and public health. Zhang added that Japan has neither provided a scientific and credible answer to concerns nor consulted with its neighbours and other stakeholders.

The treated wastewater still has multiple types of radionuclides that exceed standards, and the effectiveness of relevant technology remains unverified. Zhang urged Japan to dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, open, transparent, and safe manner and accept strict international supervision. Li Song, China’s permanent representative to the UN and other international organisations in Vienna, criticised Japan’s decision to release the wastewater into the ocean without fully deliberating on other options and noted that Japan’s selfish act would transfer pollution risk to its neighbours and the surrounding environment.