Tokyo says Fukushima discharges will be safer than natural radiation

Contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant will go through treatment to suppress its radiation levels before it is discharged into the sea, Tokyo said.

After treatment, the radiation impact of the water discharged will be lower than natural radiation exposure in Japan, its officials said in an online press conference held in Hong Kong yesterday.

Since the nuclear disaster in 2011, the number of countries and regions with import controls on Japanese food imports has fallen from 54 to 14.

Hong Kong still has a ban on vegetables, fruit, milk, milk beverages and dried milk from Fukushima.

As the Japanese government plans to discharge more than one million tonnes of radioactive water that has been treated in tanks in about two years, officials said yesterday that they will ensure the safety of exported food through testing and monitoring.

Officials said the discharge of the treated water will be conducted after purification, repurification and sufficient dilution to meet regulatory standards.

“The Japanese government will never approve discharges unless they meet regulatory standards,” said one of them.

The officials added that if 22 trillion becquerels per year of tritium and other radionuclides in the treated water is discharged, the radiation impact from discharging treated water is less than one in 100,000 of the natural radiation exposure in Japan.

They hope that Hong Kong and Macau will remove food import control based on science.

Despite protests from neighboring countries like China and South Korea over the looming discharges, Japan will continue to communicate with other countries to ensure that they feel safe purchasing seafood products and conduct briefings with diplomatic missions in China and Korea.

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