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Fukushima discharge to affect entire Pacific Ocean in 10 yrs: study

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-12-03 11:29

An aerial view shows the storage tanks for treated water at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Feb 13, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - Chinese scientists mapped out the potential global effects of Fukushima discharge, suggesting that the contaminated water, if poured forth, may sprawl onto the entire Pacific Ocean within 10 years.

The study, published online recently in the peer-reviewed journal National Science Review, showed that in 3,600 days after its discharge, the pollutants would have covered almost the entire Pacific Ocean.

The Japanese government announced in April that it would start dumping the contaminated water from around the spring of 2023.

The researchers from China's Tsinghua University led by Zhang Jianmin and Hu Zhenzhong simulated the diffusing process of the nuclear elements, and found that the pollutants could affect China's coast in 240 days after discharge.

The polluted water would have its presence in almost the entire North Pacific region in 1,200 days before spreading southward to the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, according to the study.

It also found that the nuclear elements would eventually cause a concern near North America, noticeably polluting the United States West Coast in 2,400 days.

China has expressed serious concerns about Japan's decision to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear station, calling for an open, transparent and responsible approach to prudently deal with its disposal.

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