Abolition 2000 – Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

At the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, a decision was taken to support a petition calling on the Japanese government to rethink its plans to discharge radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi power station into the ocean.

Don’t contaminate the ocean! Sign the petition now!
Stop the intentional discharge of radioactive waste-water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station!

The Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are rushing to decide on a plan to discharge a huge amount of radioactive waste-water containing a high concentration of tritium and other radioactive isotopes, produced at the melted cores of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power station. They intend to dilute the waste-water with seawater by 500, then discharge it into the Pacific Ocean over the coming years.

They have already released a huge amount of radioactive material into the environment during the severe accident, contaminating land and sea, and exposing a great number of people to radiation. Any additional radioactive contamination is unacceptable for us. (Enough is enough!)

People in Fukushima, especially fishermen, are strongly opposed to this plan to discharge waste. In Fukushima, people from various industries, including fishing, agriculture, forestry, and tourism, as well as citizens’ groups and labour unions, have come together and drafted a letter of protest and a request to the Japanese government. They are now asking people at home and abroad for their support. This petition campaign is special because it was proposed by the people of Fukushima themselves, presenting a united front to the government.

One of the fishermen in Fukushima, who sailed over the great tsunamis, says, “I want to stop this intentional discharge of tritium into the sea for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and future generations. The ocean should be infinite. We will continue to live together with the sea for hundreds and thousands more years.” This issue is not only for Fukushima-people but also for all the people and creatures who share the ocean.

You can sign now from this link! Please also send and spread the information to your friends in order for the petition to gain more support.

Note: The first deadline is the end of June and the second one is the end of August 2020

Liaison: Katsumi Furitsu  [Chernobyl Hibakusha Support Kansai], e-mail: chernobylkansai@gmail.com

Brief background information:

The severe nuclear accident, on an equal level to Chernobyl, occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. A huge amount of radioactive material was released and spread over the land and the ocean. Some of the radioactive contamination spread further to the whole northern hemisphere. More than four million people were exposed to additional radiation, which exceeded the annual dose limit for the public. The contamination is continuing more than nine years after the accident and about 40,000 people are still unable to return to their homes.

The Fukushima nuclear accident is not a natural disaster, but a man-made disaster. The Japanese government and the electricity companies linked to the nuclear industry should take responsibility for the accident as they promoted the use of nuclear energy in a country such as Japan where there are frequent earthquakes. The accident indicated again that “peaceful” uses of nuclear technology threatens people’s health and lives, it infringes on human rights, and endangers the ecosystem. We confirm and emphasize the related paragraphs from the Abolition 2000 Founding Statement. [See the slide.]

TEPCO and the Japanese government should have carried out a large scale construction work to completely change the flow of groundwater at the site in order to reduce the influx of groundwater into the melted cores of the three reactors and to avoid the further spread of radioactive material. They did not choose the right method but rather constructed “Frozen Soil Walls” instead, which were not proven to be effective. As a result, they failed to control the flow of groundwater and have produced a huge amount of highly radioactive waste-water.

The highly radioactive water drained from the chambers with melted fuel is treated with the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) to get rid of radioactive isotopes. However, tritium cannot be removed by ALPS. Therefore, a tremendous amount of tritium, 860 billion Bq of radioactivity, and 1.2 million cubic meters in volume, greater than that of Empire State Building, is now stored in over 1,000 tanks at the site. The water contains not only tritium but also 62 other isotopes, in high concentration, a level which is even 20,000 times higher than the legally permitted standard for discharge.

TEPCO and the Japanese government insist that diluting the highly contaminated water 500 times to meet the standard complies with the law. It is not true. Any intentional discharge of radioactively contaminated water in any concentration is illegal, as the actual data at the monitoring spots close to the border of the site of Fukushima nuclear power station still shows a higher value of radiation dose-rate than the legal standard (1mSv/year). In addition to that, this way of intentional discharge of waste-water may be against international treaties, such as the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

TEPCO and the Japanese government have been actively propagating false information as follows; “There is no more space at the site to construct additional waste storage tanks.” “Tritium exists in the natural environment and is not so harmful to both humans and the ecosystem.” “Though tritium has been released from many nuclear facilities in the world, any significant health effect can be detected.”

In February 2020, the Japanese government published a report, which stated that discharging the waste-water into the ocean is “the most practical option.” They are now rushing to decide to choose this option within a few months, while people are not able to go out to protest against the government and there is little media coverage on this issue, as a result of the emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We shall urgently make our voice much stronger to stop the intention of the Japanese government and the nuclear industry.