CGTN poll: 93.21% of respondents strongly oppose Japan's nuclear wastewater disposal plan

In 2021, Japan unilaterally decided to discharge more than a million tonnes of nuclear-contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, starting from the middle of this year. This wastewater comes from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was crippled by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Japan's wastewater disposal plan has raised great concern and raised numerous doubts among the international community. A global opinion poll conducted by CGTN Think Tank showed that 93.21% of respondents were strongly opposed to Japan dumping nuclear-polluted water into the sea.

The nuclear wastewater contains more than 60 radionuclides, many of which have no effective treatment technology. Despite this, the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) claim that the treated water is safe, as they claim to have eliminated almost all radionuclides from the wastewater.

According to the poll, 90.28 percent of people express that they do not trust the statement of the Japanese government and TEPCO, and 86.45 percent of respondents criticize that Japan has not handled its nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open and transparent manner.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not completed its assessment of Japan's disposal plan nor drawn specific conclusions, and all its three reports published so far pointed out the plan's non-compliance with the agency's safety standards. Nevertheless, Japan has approved its own plan and expedited the construction of discharge facilities.

This has been seen as extremely irresponsible by 91.21% of global respondents since the available scientific means cannot ensure the absolute safety of the treated water. In addition, 92.33% of people are deeply concerned about the negative impact of nuclear wastewater discharge, and 90.78% of them believe that the release of nuclear-polluted water into the sea will be detrimental to the marine environment and public health.

According to a survey conducted by the German Institute for Marine Research, once Japan starts discharging nuclear-polluted water, the radioactive material will spread across most of the Pacific Ocean within 57 days and around the world within 10 years. 

"All mankind should have the right to know about Japan's nuclear wastewater treatment plan," voiced by a netizen on CGTN's French platform. In this regard, 86.79 percent of respondents agree that the disposal of nuclear-contaminated water is not Japan's "private matter," but concerns its neighbors, Pacific Island countries and even the whole world and mankind. If Japan insists on releasing wastewater into the sea, it will transfer the risk to other countries and mankind. 

In addition, 88.56 percent of respondents urge Japan to dispose nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, open, transparent and safe manner, fulfilling its obligations under International Law. Japan should fully and prudently study and research its nuclear-contaminated water discharge plan, and should refrain from arbitrarily starting the discharge before fully consulting and agreeing with relevant international organizations and stakeholders such as neighboring countries.

This poll, published by CGTN in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian platforms, received responses from 33746 people in 24 hours.

(Cover: Environmental activists stage a rally to denounce Japanese government's decision on Fukushima water, in front of a building that houses Japanese embassy in Seoul, South Korea, April 14, 2021. /CFP)

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