Japanese government creates cute, illustrated version of radioactive isotope it plans to throw into the sea
Video released on the same day, approval granted for Fukushima nuclear power plant wastewater project.
As the branch of the Japanese government responsible for dealing with the effects of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the responsibilities of the Reconstruction agency including keeping people informed about health and safety issues. This being Japan, cute illustrated characters being part of public awareness campaigns usually doesn’t surprise anyone, but that’s another story with a new video and a new brochure that the Reconstruction Agency just released.
These cute little green guys, who look like something you might find in the last one Pokemon DLC package, are believed to represent tritium, a radioactive isotype of hydrogen. Both the video and the flyer were released on Tuesday, which not coincidentally was the same day. the Japanese government has approved a plan to dispose of treated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which still contains tritium, by dumping it into the ocean.
Support for the plan is far from universal among the general population and business groups such as commercial fishing operations. However, supporters argue the measure is both necessary and harmless. Radiated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is stored in reservoirs at the site as it is processed, with the approximately 1,000 reservoirs currently in use representing a volume of water that could fill the Tokyo Dome sports stadium. . All site storage tanks are expected to be full by the end of 2022, and operator TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) is not legally allowed to build storage containers off-site.
The agency says the water to be discharged into the ocean has been treated to remove all of its radioactive material except tritium, which, as an isotope of hydrogen, poses a particular problem when attempting to separate it from the water. In an effort to reassure people, the video / leaflet points out that tritium is weak enough not to penetrate human skin and can already be found in rainwater, seawater, l tap water and even the human body, where it has not been shown to be harmful in sufficiently small amounts. The awareness campaign also points out that tritium does not accumulate in the human body, but is released into liquid human waste.
The Reconstruction Agency plan has the support not only of the Japanese government, but international atomic energy agency also. The water will be further away diluted before spillage to a tritium concentration that is barely 1/7 of the amount permitted for drinking water according to World Health Organization standards, and it’s not as if the plan is to overturn all 1,000 containers at once, as the release into the ocean will be slow enough to take several decades. The Atomic Energy Agency also adds that dumping treated water still containing tritium into the ocean is standard practice at many nuclear power plants as part of their regular and non-emergency operations.
Still, the Reconstruction Agency explaining the plan while portraying the controversial radioactive material as a cute creature does not suit critics, whose reactions online have included:
âThe reconstruction agency was quick to create aâ¦ character for image monitoring purposes. This country has emerged from the abyss.
âThis agency is not right in the head. They should all replace them.
“Crazy … changing the image of something doesn’t mean it’s suddenly safe.”
It should be noted that despite many commentators on social media calling the illustrated tritium a âmascot characterâ, some even calling it âTritium-kunâ, The Reconstruction Agency itself has not given the illustration a name or attempted to give it any personality traits or endearing characteristics beyond its appearance.. âOur primary intention is to create a sense of familiarity [with the substance]Said a representative of the agency. “Our goal was a performance that was neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’, but intermediate.”
However, with the long-standing tendency in Japanese society to equate kindness with piety, it shouldn’t have been difficult to predict that some people would take the illustration as an attempt to portray tritium itself in a light. positive, and the Reconstruction Agency could have saved itself some explanations by visually taking another route.
Source: Reconstruction agency, Tokyo Shimbun Going through Otakomu, Twitter, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Wall Street newspaper, Forbes
Pictures: YouTube / å¾©è åº / Reconstruction agency
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