习近平同埃及总统塞西会谈
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China says Japan 'misleading public opinion' with nuclear-contaminated water chicanery

Source: Xinhua | 2023-07-08
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China says Japan 'misleading public opinion' with nuclear-contaminated water chicanery

BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday said that Japan's attempt to "whitewash" its decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean is misleading the international community under the disguise of science.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno reportedly said that nuclear power plants in China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) had released into the sea liquid wastes with relatively high concentration of tritium. Matsuno also said that the standard Japan sets in this regard is much lower than other countries including China and the ROK.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, told a press briefing on Friday that Japan deliberately compares the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water with water released by nuclear power plants in normal operation across the world. "With such disguised replacement of concept, it is seeking to mislead public opinion."

The nuclear-contaminated water that came into direct contact with the melted reactor cores in the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the water released by nuclear power plants in normal operation are "fundamentally different," as the latter never has direct contact with reactor cores.

No comparison can be drawn between the two as they come from different sources, contain different radionuclides and require different levels of sophistication to handle, Wang said.

In particular, the International Atomic Energy Agency did not assess the efficacy and long-term reliability of Japan's treatment facilities and therefore cannot guarantee that all nuclear-contaminated water will be up to standard after treatment in the next 30 years.

Japan's attempt to make an issue of normal water discharge from operating nuclear power plants is aimed at whitewashing its ocean discharge plan and misleading the international community under the disguise of science, Wang said.

The spokesperson also criticized Japan's "other tricks" to sell the nuclear-contaminated water as something safe and harmless, for example, by launching a cute mascot representing radioactive tritium and coining the pseudo-scientific term "treated water."

Its sole purpose is to downplay the hazard of the nuclear-contaminated water, Wang said. "But no matter what Japan says, the nuclear-contaminated water cannot be turned into normal water, nor can Japan walk away from the consequences and responsibility of dumping the water into the sea."

"We urge Japan to stop shifting responsibility, earnestly respond to the international community's legitimate concerns, stop pushing forward the ocean discharge plan, and handle the nuclear-contaminated water in a truly science-based, safe and transparent manner after conducting thorough consultation," he said.

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