A Resolution Against the Ocean Dumping of Radioactive Tritium-contaminated Waste Water From the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Members of the Association for Citizens and Scientists Concerned about Internal Radiation Exposures (ACSIR) and citizens and scientists who are concerned about internal radiation exposure
July 20, 2018
〖You can download this resolution from here.〗
A Resolution Against the Ocean Dumping of Radioactive Tritium-contaminated Waste Water From the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant(pdf,3pages,146KB)
It was announced in March, 2014, that in the defunct Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant there was a total of approximately 3,400 trillion becquerels of tritium, with 830 trillion becquerels stored in tanks. This enormous amount of radioactive waste water has still continued to increase since then. In these circumstances, the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Ltd. (TEPCO), in their efforts to find an easy way to dispose of the tritium-contaminated waste water created by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, have been trying to dilute and dump it into the ocean. They have been watching for an unguarded moment among the opposition movements, such as fishery cooperatives. Now they are about to finally decide to implement the ocean dumping plan. Far from regulating such activities, Toyoshi Fuketa, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority has been championing this plan.
We are determined that the Japanese government and TEPCO shall never dump the radioactive waste water into the ocean for the following reasons:
1. Generally misunderstood as posing little risk to life and health, tritium is an extremely hazardous radioactive material. This is because organisms are not able to chemically distinguish tritium water from the normal water which composes most of the human body. This means that tritium can invade any part of the human body, irradiating it from inside; therefore, tritium can damage cell membranes and mitochondria in cells, indirectly through reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other radicals generated in irradiation. Tritium decay can directly cut chemical bonds of genomes or DNA strands. The risk peculiar to tritium is that if some hydrogen atoms which make up the genomes are replaced with tritium, the beta decay of the tritium into helium will cut off the chemical bonds of the genome.
Plants produce starch from water and carbon dioxide gas by using photosynthesis. Some of hydrogen atoms in this starch can be replaced with tritium, forming organic tritium, which animals, plants and human beings absorb into their bodies over the long term, causing internal radiation.
2. With reference to the tritium released by various nuclear facilities, reports indicate a number of findings including: an increased incidence of leukemia among those living around the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant; an increased incidence of infant leukemia around nuclear reprocessing plants all over the world; and an increased incidence of child cancers around nuclear power plants. Real damage has already occurred.
3. Tritium, even if diluted and dumped into the ocean, will become concentrated again through aspects of the ecosystem such as food chains. Furthermore, tritium will vaporize into tritium-containing moisture or hydrogen gas only to return to the land and eventually circulate within the environment. The idea that dilution ensures safety has caused fatal blunders to be repeated in many environmental pollution cases in the past, the vital factor being the total quantity released into the environment. Therefore, as far as environmental pollution problems are concerned, the only righteous and principled policy is to thoroughly confine and isolate radioactive materials or toxic substances from the ecosystem.
As tritium has a long half-life of 12 years, it destroys the environment over the long term. Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen which constitutes not only most of the living body but also its genes, so tritium disposal via dilution cannot be safe. Thus, we strongly urge the Japanese government and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority never to dump tritium into the ocean.
f you agree with this resolution, please e-mail to Kosaku Yamada.
The resolution assenters:
As of August 5
石田紀郎、石堂太郎、伊集院真知子、稲垣 博美、稲垣 睿、印南敏夫、今田裕作、岩田深雪、
許 照美、熊谷まき、黒河内繁美、黒田節子、鍬野保雄、權 龍夫、国分 天、小林立雄、
小山 潔、コリン・コバヤシ、今 正則、斉藤さちこ、齊藤智子、佐藤和利、佐藤京子、佐藤大介、
澤田昭二、嶋田美子、島 安治、下澤陽子、下山久美子、庄司善哉、白井健雄 、白鳥紀一、
滝本 健、田代真人、橘 優子、舘澤みゆき、田中一郎、田中 清、高木 伸、高橋精巧、
高橋武三、髙松利昌、辻 陽子、辻本 誠、哲野イサク、寺尾光身、友田シズエ、外谷悦夫、
根本 勘、野村修身、萩原正子、萩原ゆきみ、橋爪亮子、橋本恵美、馬場利子、林 敬次、
I like this resolution because it states exactly why tritium is dangerous. What it says about its dangers to humans can be applied to all organisms.