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Objective Facts On Fukushima’s Treated Wastewater Release

We understand that you may have concerns about Japan’s recent release of treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, resulting in adverse impacts on marine life that might be consumed by you eventually. In hope to calm your uneasiness, we gathered some newfound facts after the wastewater discharge as below from trusted sources for your kind reference.

As of 27 August 2023, 1420 tonnes of treated wastewater was released into the Pacific Ocean by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco). The water release was first treated using Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) to remove all radioactive materials except tritium, a hydrogen isotope that most scientists say is harmless. Tritium is said to be also present in rain and tap water, and naturally discharged without accumulating in the body.

The treated water after the ALPS process is heavily diluted with seawater to bring down tritium levels to below one-seventh that of the World Health Organisation’s standards for drinking water and then stored. To prevent sampling errors, water is separated into a group of 10 tanks, and it is constantly agitated and circulated for six days to fully mix it.

Besides the treatment process, there are also multiple measures to ensure that the wastewater is safe and adhere to strict standards during the release process. Automatic emergency valves are in place to immediately stop the discharge if the seawater inflow stops or if radiation is detected, while a manual override – kept under lock-and-key control of the unit chief – is also installed. Corroborative tests are being conducted by multiple agencies.

After the initial discharge of treated wastewater, routine tests to seawater off the coast of Fukushima on 27 August 2023 returned negative on any radioactivity. A day earlier, inspections of fish samples from waters near the plant also found no detectable traces of tritium.

On the local front, Singapore Food Agency (SFA) assures they have not detected any radioactive contaminants in food imports from Japan since 2013 during import inspections. They also assured that any food products that fail the inspection will not be allowed for sale in Singapore.