Japanese protest Fukushima water release

Over 500 Japanese residents from across the country on Sunday gathered in Fukushima's Iwaki City to protest against the discharge into the sea of the nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant. 

The protesters came from 375 civil groups nationwide, demanding an immediate stop to the discharge which started on Thursday. This is by far the largest protest against the nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping. 

The Fukushima Daiichi plant was destroyed in March 2011 after a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake generated powerful tsunami waves that caused the meltdowns of three of its nuclear reactors - one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. 

In 2015, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Japanese government swore in writing to organizations such as JF Zengyoren that they would not discharge the nuclear effluent into the ocean until they had the understanding of local fishermen and other stakeholders. 

However, the Japanese government unilaterally decided to discharge millions of tons of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the sea in 2021 despite domestic and international opposition. 

Some protesters say they believe that TEPCO conducting tests on the concentration of tritium in the waters near the plant the very next day of discharging was trying to deceive itself, as it didn't test other radioactive substances nor take factors like bio-concentration into consideration. 

The discharge process may last 30 to 40 years, which will cause unpredictable damage and hazard to the global marine environment and the health and well-being of the people around the world. 

(Source: Reuters)

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