CNMI rep slams Japan’s plan to dump nuclear waste into Pacific

The Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen from Futaba Town, Fukushima prefecture on March 11, 2020. Photo: STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP

The CNMI House of Representatives has a introduced a joint resolution that condemns Japan’s plan to dump treated nuclear waste from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.

Introduced by Representaive Sheila Babauta, the joint resolution opposes any other government’s actions related to nuclear testing, storage, and waste disposal in the Pacific and reaffirm everyone’s fundamental right to a safe and healthy living environment.

The resolution states that the Pacific Ocean is a resource and home for many in the Commonwealth, broader Oceania, and many in Japan who rely on it to provide food, economic subsistence, a means of travel, and so many other aspects of life that can be easily threatened by human activities such as pollution and nuclear exercises.

Japan announced in April a plan to start dumping in two years into the Pacific more than a million tons of treated but still radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was destroyed in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

CNMI House of Representative, Sheila Babauta Photo: Supplied

Babauta, who chairs the House’s Natural Resources Committee, said the people of Oceania have throughout history been disproportionately impacted by foreign powers’ nuclear activities within the Pacific region.

In 1979, Japan also proposed a plan to dump about 10,000 drums of nuclear waste in the Pacific.

Babauta said UN Special Rapporteurs released a statement expressing deep disappointment in Japan’s latest decision, saying “the release of one million tons of contaminated water into the marine environment imposes considerable risks to the full enjoyment of human rights of concerned populations in and beyond the borders of Japan.”

Resource: RNZ