The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) expresses alarm at the release of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.
The earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011 ruined the nuclear power plant, destroying its cooling system which resulted in its reactor cores overheating, contaminating the water within the facility with radioactive material.
This water, contaminated with the radioactive element tritium, is being released into the ocean. The tritium cannot be removed from the water because there is no technological means of doing so. Instead, the radioactive water is being diluted and slowly released into the oceans, affecting marine life and, by extension, life on the planet.
While some claim that the levels of tritium being released into the ocean are lower than acceptable standards, the fact is that the impact on the ocean cannot be fully predicted. Environmentalists have suggested that the radioactive water can have direct consequences on plants and animals that ingest it. Even worse is that if this happens, there is no way of calling it back.
The release of radioactive water into the ocean threatens those that are already vulnerable in the Pacific Ocean, including the ocean itself. Already affected by rising CO2 levels and other toxic elements being released, the health of the oceans is critical to the health of the planet. Further, communities that rely on the oceans, including fisherfolk and Pacific Islanders, are fearful of the impact this release could have.
The WCRC calls on the Japanese government to stop the release of radioactive water and the global community to continue in its commitment to ecological well-being.
Image: GEM School participants protest outside the Council of Churches in Malaysia.