Japanese authorities are preparing to release treated radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, nearly 12 years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. This will relieve pressure on more than 1,000 storage tanks, creating much-needed space for other vital remediation works. But the plan has attracted controversy.
At first glance, releasing radioactive water into the ocean does sound like a terrible idea. Greenpeace feared the radioactivity released might change human DNA, China and South Korea expressed disquiet, while Pacific Island nations were concerned about further nuclear contamination of the Blue Pacific. One academic publication claimed the total global social welfare cost could exceed US$200 billion. Read on.