Contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear power plant could affect human DNA if released: Greenpeace

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Environmental rights organization Greenpeace has warned that if the contaminated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan is released into the ocean, the hazardous material could potentially damage human DNA.Greenpeace said the 1.23 metric tonnes of water stored at the plant contains high levels of radioactive carbon, known as carbon-14, and tritium, which could disrupt human DNA and have lasting consequences. on the environment if released into the Pacific Ocean, according to CNN.

Greenpeace released a new report on Friday noting that carbon 14 represents a “major contributor to the collective dose of human radiation and has the potential to damage human DNA.” ”

“These and other radionuclides in water will remain dangerous for thousands of years with the potential to cause genetic damage. This is one more reason why these plans must be abandoned, ”said Shaun Burnie, author of the report.

The nuclear power plant was the site of a disaster in 2011, after Japan suffered an earthquake and tsunami that cut off power to Fukushima.

During the tsunami, the plant lost its ability to cool three reactors and later the facility used water to cool them. Once the water reached its target, it was contaminated and stored at the factory.

But the facility is running out of space for tons of dangerous water, and the Japanese government is under pressure to make a decision on its disposal, according to the outlet.

The Japanese government delayed decision making on water management on Friday after several environmental organizations spoke out against the proposed plan to discharge the water into the ocean.

Japan’s environment minister said dumping water into the ocean was the only solution to the problem.

While many environmental activists share concerns about radioactive materials in water, those responsible for managing the issue are running out of time to decide on methods of water disposal.

“In order to avoid the delay in the decommissioning process of Fukushima Daiichi, we need to make a decision on how to treat the treated water which is increasing every day,” said Minister of Industry Hiroshi Kajiyama, adding that the authorities should still respond to “voices of concern.” . ”

Ryounosuke Takanori, a spokesperson for the Tokyo Electric Power Company, told CNN that the concentration of carbon-14 in treated water was around 2 to 220 becquerels per liter, as measured in water tanks. .

He added, “Even though the water is continuously drunk 2 liters per day, the annual exposure is around 0.001 to 0.11 millisieverts, which is not a level that affects health.”



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