Joint statement from International Academic Network for a Community with Shared Future on Japan’s decision to discharge Fukushima nuclear plant water into the ocean

Press time:2021-04-15Number of views:33

The International Academic Network for a Community with Shared Future (hereinafter referred to as IAN-CSF) is seriously concerned about and expresses firm opposition toJapan’s decision to discharge potentially radioactive Fukushima nuclear plant water into the ocean, warning that the discharge is likely toimpose irreversible and unprecedented long-term impacts on both the marine ecosystem and millions of livesacross the Pacific region.

First, the official report released by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) shows that the Fukushima nuclear plant water, after treated, still contains multiple radionuclides, including carbon-14, strontium-90, iodine-120, plutonium isotopes, and tritium. These radionuclides may pose tremendous threats to public health. In particular, children and teenagers are especially vulnerable to nuclear radionuclides. Research data indicates that, within the Fukushima region, from 11th March 2011 to 15th June 2020, a total number of 195 children and teenagers have been diagnosed with thyroid cancers. This increases the concern over the potential impact of Fukushima nuclear plant water on the health of young people.

Second, the former UN Special Rapporteur on disposal of hazardous substances and wastes issued by the UN Human Rights Council stated that, in Japan’s decision-making process on discharging the contaminated nuclear water into the Pacific Ocean, the Japanese Government has not adequately delivered relevant information regarding the potential health and environmental impacts of the Fukushima nuclear plant to the public, neither has the Japanese Government taken its citizens’ opinion into the decision-making process. IAN-CSF firmly urges that Japanese Government release relevant information with regard to the nature of the hazards posed by the Fukushima nuclear plant water, together with the potential health and environmental impact of the decision, to its citizens and the global society.

Third, despite the potential health impacts, theFukushima nuclear plant water would lead to long-term impacts on the global marine ecosystem. Take carbon-14 radionuclides for instance, with a half-life of over 5,000 years, carbon-14 will exist in marine creatures over a long period. The hazardous substance is likely to accumulate through the food chain and possibly reach a dangerous level in the human body in the end. Consequently, the decision to discharge the Fukushima nuclear plant water into the ocean would not only affect the health condition of the local residents and the marine ecosystem, but also create inevitable impacts on global population and ecosystem for many generations after us. This decision is clearly against the sustainability of mankind.

Finally, as the decision to discharge potentially still radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean concerns the development of mankind, IAN-CSF strongly urges the Government of Japan to take into account the opposition seriously proposed by its citizens and the global society. We sincerely suggest that the Government of Japan departure from the standpoint of shared future of mankind and make a responsible decision for our planet.


The International Academic Network for a Community with Shared Future

15th April, 2021