Some 150 Japanese Residents File Lawsuit to Halt Fukushima Water Release - Reports
© AP Photo / Lee Jin-manМакеты рыб со знаком радиоактивной опасности на митинге против сброса воды с АЭС Фукусима-1 в Тихий океан
© AP Photo / Lee Jin-man
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - About 150 residents of several Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima and Miyagi, filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit on Friday to stop the release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant (NPP), Japanese media reported.
The lawsuit, filed with the Fukushima District Court against the Japanese government and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO), claims that the release of treated water undermines citizens' right to live safely and threatens the operation of local fisheries, a Japanese news agency reported. According to the document, the release is the "fresh misconduct" by the government and TEPCO after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
The plaintiffs also cited documents from 2015 in which the government and the operator promised not to start releasing water from the plant without the approval of all parties involved. The actual release of water broke that promise, as the Japan Fisheries Association officially protested the discharge the day before it was to begin.
The suit claims that the provisions of the 2015 document have been violated, and that the government and TEPCO are obligated to solve the problem of radioactive water accumulation at the plant in another way that does not have a significant negative impact on the environment. The plaintiffs also seek to revoke the approval granted by Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority in May and July of this year to proceed with the water discharge plan.
On August 24, Japan began dumping treated wastewater from the Fukushima NPP into the Pacific Ocean after diluting it with seawater. Tokyo claimed to have cleaned the water of all radionuclides except tritium, which was still within acceptable limits.
The water release has drawn strong opposition from China and other countries in the region. Beijing has described the discharged water as "contaminated" and responded by suspending seafood imports from Japan. Tokyo, for its part, has vowed to use tools under World Trade Organization rules to respond to the ban. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that the treated wastewater would have a negligible radiological impact on people and the environment.