Fukushima nuclear sewage discharge

          Recently, the issue of wastewater discharge after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan has aroused widespread public concern. There is so much expertise in the field of nuclear safety, which is easy for the public to understand. Regarding professional issues related to wastewater discharge after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the reporter interviewed Zhao Chengkun, executive deputy director of the Expert Committee of the China Nuclear Energy Industry Association, Liu Xinhua, a researcher at the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and Liu Senlin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Atomic Energy.

The wastewater after the Fukushima nuclear accident is fundamentally different from the wastewater discharged from the normal operation of nuclear power plants

Reporter: Some netizens compare the wastewater after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan with the wastewater discharged from the normal operation of nuclear power plants in various countries. What do you think?

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Liu Xinhua: The wastewater discharged from the normal operation of the nuclear power plant you mentioned is called “the liquid effluent from the normal operation of the nuclear power plant”, which is fundamentally different from the wastewater after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

One is different sources. The Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan was the highest level 7 nuclear accident in the International Nuclear Incident Classification Standard (INES). The core was melted and damaged and radioactive materials were released in large quantities. The wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear accident came from the cooling water injected into the melted and damaged reactor core after the accident, as well as the groundwater and rainwater that infiltrated the reactor. The normal operating liquid effluent of nuclear power plants mainly comes from process drainage, chemical drainage, ground drainage, shower laundry drainage, etc.

The second is the different types of radionuclides. The wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear accident contained various radionuclides present in the molten core, including some long half-life fission nuclides, and extremely toxic transuranic nuclides such as plutonium and americium. The liquid effluent from the normal operation of nuclear power plants does not directly contact the nuclear fuel pellets, and contains a small amount of fission nuclides and almost no transuranic nuclides.

The third is the difficulty of processing. Japan adopts the technology of multi-nuclides treatment system (ALPS) to purify wastewater, and whether it can finally meet the discharge standard still needs to be verified. Nuclear power plants strictly abide by internationally accepted standards, use the best available technology to treat wastewater, and organize discharge after strict monitoring and compliance. The discharged nuclides are far below the prescribed control value Spark Global Limited.