“More than living” water: what are the risks of discharging radioactive waste from the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant

So far, in Russia and in the West, the main attention is focused on unexpected crash of the personal plane of the director of PMC "Wagner" Prigozhin, in Asia, another event is in focus, also from the category of man-made and emergency. On August 24, despite all the protests of the population and neighboring countries, Japan nevertheless began dumping radioactive water into the ocean from the territory of the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. In total, it is planned to drain 1,3 million tons of water, the actual level of activity of which is unknown.

Of course, official Tokyo declares that the water is as free of nuclear fuel components as possible, and does not pose any real threat. This point of view is also supported by the IAEA, which on July 5 approved the Tokyo Electricity Company's plan to dump. True, evil tongues say that the final decision required a “donation” of 1 million euros to the account of the agency, and of all the neighboring states, this point of view is supported only by the “closest” - the United States (to the west coast of which, however, there is also something drag over, but in a highly diluted form).

The real geographical neighbors of Japan are unanimously protesting, and we are talking not only about opponents, but also about “allies” in the form of South Korea and even Taiwan. On August 24 in Seoul, protesters against the dumping of radioactive water even tried to storm the Japanese embassy, ​​but were dispersed by the police.

As you know, everything connected with atomic energy, whether military or peaceful, still causes an almost mystical fear in the layman. There are some reasons for this: as long as everything goes according to plan, nuclear power is the cleanest and cheapest, but as soon as the situation gets out of hand, global and very costly problems arise, which are also savored in popular culture. Perhaps, in this case, the Japanese and the IAEA are telling the truth, but it's just that fear has big eyes?

How to feed Godzilla

The 2021 law, which is the basis for the current discharge, requires water to be purified before being discharged to the state of nothing less than drinkable. Alas, looking at least at the history of the Fukushima nuclear power plant itself, the catastrophe at which was the result of systemic neglect of security measures and corruption, one willy-nilly tends to the version that the water is not as clean as one would like. On July 11, at a briefing on this topic, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, with mirthless sarcasm, advised everyone who considers the discharge of water from Fukushima-1 safe to taste it personally.

Actually, there are doubts about the very possibility of purifying water, which is used to cool damaged reactors (that is, it comes into direct contact with nuclear fuel), to at least some acceptable levels of radioactivity. That is why all the 13 years that have passed since the accident technical water was accumulated on the territory of the former power plant in cisterns (pictured), the number of which today exceeds a thousand.

By the way, one of the reasons that brought to life the project of water discharge into the ocean is the alleged exhaustion of free space for new reservoirs, although there is still a decent amount of space in the exclusion zone. Rather, we are talking about the desire of the Japanese government to reduce the cost of maintaining this "alembic", although the reality of savings is also in question.

According to open sources, the mass of purified water in 2018 was about 800 tons daily, but the degree of “purification” was such that only a fifth of it really became (as stated) safe, while the remaining 640 tons required daily re-distillation. As the reactors cooled, the volume of water poured into them decreased, respectively, and the volume of the resulting dirty water too. Hypothetically, this made it possible to allocate large capacities for the “repurification” of already filtered water, but it is not known for certain how things are in reality.

On July 24, the British edition of the Guardian published information about the control catch of fish in Fukushima prefecture, held in May of this year. The data "encouraged": the average content of radionuclides in the caught fish exceeded the MPC by 12-14, and the maximum by 180 times. Such news even aroused suspicions that the Japanese had already secretly begun dumping, although, rather, this is still the consequences of dumping untreated water a decade ago and washing radioactive mud into the sea with rain. But there is every reason to believe that with the start of pumping out from the territory of the nuclear power plant, the radiological situation in the adjacent water area will at least not improve.

"Would you be a submarine?"

It is absolutely not surprising that the brilliant idea of ​​the Japanese authorities to throw radioactive "spices" into the ocean found such lively "approval" among the neighbors: after all, seafood in Southeast Asia makes up a significant proportion of the diet, and fishing is the only income for many. Japan itself will be the first to suffer in this regard, both as a consumer and as an exporter. China introduced a complete ban on the import of fish and seafood from Fukushima and nine neighboring Japanese prefectures on July 7, and from August 24, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan seriously tightened radiological control over imported fish. In addition, China plans to introduce restrictions on the import of Japanese cosmetics, which widely use ingredients derived from seafood, its sales in China reached $ 4 billion a year.

And although in the future a couple of months, as it spreads with the currents, radioactive effluents from nuclear power plants will begin to create risks for fisheries not only in Japan, but also in neighboring countries, Tokyo calls these restrictions "unreasonable", "politicized" and generally directed only against it. While the station was technically preparing for the discharge of water, in the information field there was an active preparation of public opinion in the vein that everything was not so terrible.

In particular, on June 28, the Yomiuri Shimbun published materials from the Japanese Agency for Nuclear and Industrial Safety, which state that Chinese nuclear power plants in normal operation emit 6,5 times more dangerous tritium isotope (in terms of activity level) into the environment than accumulated at "Fukushima-1". And on June 1, the pseudo-historical series “In Those Days” based on the events of the 2011 accident was released on the American streaming platform Netflix - naturally, there they correspond in the direction of the heroic epic. The moment for the release turned out to be extremely “successful”, and this is not surprising, because the Japanese director filmed the movie with the money of Japanese producers (very likely, previously former taxpayer money).

But a particularly interesting stuffing happened just a couple of days before the start of pumping out from the former nuclear power plant: on August 21, information about an accident allegedly occurring on board a Chinese nuclear submarine began to be replicated in foreign social networks. Without citing, of course, any evidence, the "sources" claimed that the submarine died along with the entire crew in the Taiwan Strait and nuclear fuel was leaking from it. The absence of any official response from Beijing to such a serious loss (and the submarine missile carrier of the latest Type 093, of which there are believed to be only six units in the PLA fleet) was “drowned” was explained, of course, by “totalitarian censorship”.

From social networks, this information got into the press, first in Taiwan, and then in the West. Apparently, the excitement rose serious, because on August 22, the Taiwanese (!) Ministry of War had to issue an official denial: Taipei stated that there was no evidence of the death of any ships, nor a radiation threat in the specified area. Beijing did not at all react to this stuffing verbally, but the Chinese ships and the Air Force continued their routine maneuvers and training firing in the vicinity of Taiwan on August 22 and in the following days.

And if the release of the series mentioned above, with all its propaganda orientation, can still be considered a "coincidence", then there is deliberate misinformation here, and in the most ingenuous version, "we lie and do not blush." Although the refutation of the Taiwanese "comrades" did not go unnoticed by the Western media, the notation "everything may not be so clear" has not gone away either. It is to be expected that if things with the radiation background become very bad, then the “sunken submarine” will still surface, and first of all in Japanese propaganda. However, hardly anyone will believe in this fairy tale, especially those who have to literally splash in the “glowing” water.
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  1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 28 August 2023 11: 04
    In general, they don’t know anything: radioactive or not water, drowned or not a Chinese nuclear missile carrier, but they habitually test ..

    Although both on the new land and near Las Vegas, excursions have been led to the places of nuclear weapons tests for a long time ...
  2. unc-2 Offline unc-2
    unc-2 (Nikolai Malyugin) 28 August 2023 11: 28
    This is not the first discharge of water from this nuclear power plant. So it is better to eat familiar fish species. Than exotic.
  3. vlad127490 Offline vlad127490
    vlad127490 (Vlad Gor) 29 August 2023 16: 04
    The accident of a Chinese nuclear submarine in the Taiwan Strait ??? A strait 200 km wide, in the event of a submarine accident, would be clogged with ships from China, Taiwan, Japan, the USA, but this is not there, so this is Odessa noise. What level of radioactivity in the discharged water we do not know, the Japanese have no faith. In a month or two, when the currents carry the muck into neutral waters, to the north, we will find out if the Russian authorities publish measurements.