South Korean Students Shave Their Heads in Protest Against Japan’s Nuclear Wastewater Release, Here’s What You Should Know About the Fukushima Fiasco (See Pics)

The Japanese government is facing strong opposition from environmentalists and its neighbouring countries, including China after the country approved a plan to release more than a million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. Even though the authorities are of the opinion that radioactive water release will have ‘zero environmental impact,’ some people are not convinced. The latest pictures from Seoul, South Korea, are making headlines after college students were captured shaving their heads in front of the Japanese embassy. The move was reportedly made to protest Japan’s decision to release the wastewater from Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. But what happened in Fukushima? Why are people protesting? In this article, we will know everything about the Fukushima fiasco—a painful history and Japan’s recent decision to release contaminated water from the tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant to the ocean that environmentalists fear may impact nature.

What Happened in Fukushima?

Before we understand the ongoing event, let us journey back to a painful history. On March 11, 2011, an earthquake struck off the north-eastern coast of Japan, triggering a 15-metre tsunami. The tsunami swept over the main island of Honshu, killing more than 18,000 people and wiping entire towns off the map. While the backup systems to prevent a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant survived the initial quake, the damage was inflicted by the tsunami. The gigantic wave surged over defences and flooded the reactors, sparking a major disaster. According to reports, around 18,500 people died or disappeared in the quake and tsunami, and above 160,000 were forced to evacuate from their homes.

Watch Video: Fukushima Tsunami Devastation

Why Is Japan Releasing Radioactive Water From Fukushima Nuclear Plant in the Sea?

Japan plans to release more than a million tonnes of radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear station. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco) reported that it has been struggling with contaminated water build-up since bringing the three reactors under control after the 2011 disaster. According to reports, the discharge of the water is set to begin in 2023, and it will not be released in one go but in gradual stages that could take twenty to thirty years.

Is the Water Safe? Why Environmentalists Oppose the Decision?

Japan argues that the release of the wastewater is safe, as it is processed to remove almost all the radioactive elements and will be diluted. The Atomic Energy Agency backs the decision and says that the release is similar to wastewater disposal at other plants around the world. However, not everyone is in support! Environmental groups like Greenpeace have expressed their opposition and so many other environmental activists. According to Reuters, Seoul students have staged a protest by shaving their heads outside the Japanese embassy.

Seoul Students Stage Protest!

Students Shave Their Heads Outside Japanese Embassy in Seoul

More Pics From the Protest 

Japan’s fishing industry has also displayed disagreement. They worry that years of work to convince consumers that Fukushima’s seafood is safe can be wiped out by the release.

(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on Apr 21, 2021 02:54 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website freshheadline.com).

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