Byline By- Vinayak Heliwal
Japanese Government decision to release radioactively contaminated water from its wrecked nuclear plant in Fukushima into the sea has raised the alarming situation in India as it can impact aquatic and human life along with coastal belts of several parts of the world.
Around 1.2 million tonnes of water contaminated by radioactive substances from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster will be dumped into the Pacific sea.
The contaminated water containing radioactive isotopes such as Cesium, tritium, cobalt, and carbon -12 may take more than 12 years to decay and will destroy everything it comes in contact with almost immediately and cripple the economy related to the fishing industry and lead to a spectrum of diseases including cancer.
In March 2011, a 9.0 radioactive earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan which triggered a 15-meter tsunami that damaged the MW Fukushima Plant. It is considered the second biggest nuclear disaster in the history of nuclear power generation after Chernobyl in 1986.
Since authorities are running out of space as the plant is to be decommissioned, the Japanese government has decided to release the contaminated water in 2022.
A K Singh, director-general of health science at the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) said that the release of contaminated water into the ocean will directly impact human and aquatic life.
“The possibility of ingestion of tritium in humans will increase and since this isotope will distribute in all organs in humans and long. Radioactivity monitoring in fish and other aquatic life in the near vicinity (coastal areas) and drinking water will be necessary. Deposition of the radioactive elements on the rocks has also to be seen,” he added.
Environmentalists and several organisations, including Safecast and Greenpeace, have urged the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the Fukushima plant, to build more storage tanks and keep the water stored.
Although the Japanese authorities have said that the water will be diluted before being released and it would only contain tritium. However, their actions are not considered unsatisfactory and it can be a huge threat for aquatic and human mankind.