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China urges caution on Japan nuclear plant's water release

Radioactive discharge could harm environment, Foreign Ministry says

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, seen in this September file photo, expressed concern over plans to flush radioactive water from a wrecked nuclear plant in Japan into the sea.   © Reuters

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China on Monday urged the Japanese government to "cautiously" consider whether to release treated radioactive water in the sea from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled by a powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2011.

"The radioactive material leakage caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan has had a profound impact on the marine environment, food safety and human health," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

Calling on Tokyo to disclose correct and transparent information, Zhao added China hopes Japan will "take a highly responsible attitude toward its citizens, neighboring countries and the international community."

Zhao's remarks came days after it was reported by Japanese media that an official decision on the discharge of the water from the nuclear plant may be made by the end of this month.

The water has been treated using an advanced liquid processing system, or ALPS, to remove most contaminants other than relatively less toxic tritium and is stored in tanks on the facility's premises.

But space is expected to run out by the summer of 2022, with contaminated water increasing by about 170 tons per day. As of September this year, the stored water totaled 1.23 million tons and continues to grow.

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