FSM nixes Japan's plan to dump nuclear wastewater into Pacific Ocean

Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo is opposing Japan's plan to dump 1.2 million tons of nuclear waste from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean.

Despite Japan's assurance that the contaminated water will be treated and diluted to reduce radiation presence to levels set for drinking water, Panuelo said this does not guarantee that that planned wastewater discharge would not pose any harm to the environment and the island nations' livelihood.

Like most Pacific island countries, FSM relies on marine resources for its economic sustenance.

“I strongly believe it would be highly fruitful, and demonstrative of our close friendship and cooperation, for the government of Japan to engage in a formal and multilateral dialogue with countries whose livelihoods depend greatly on the health of the Pacific Ocean," Panuelo said in a letter to Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Other surrounding countries and island nations in the Asia Pacific frown on Japan's plan, noting its potential impact on the region's fishing industry.

"In the spirit of multilateralism and inclusivity, I would encourage you to consider having consultations with the Micronesian region. I believe [such an engagement] will be fruitful for your government to hear, candidly and directly, our fears and concerns, so that they can be identified and then assuaged,” Panuelo added.

Japan's final approval of the waste disposal plan came after years of debate and is expected to begin in two years.

The nuclear disaster resulted from a 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered a hydrogen explosion, causing damage to reactor buildings at the Fukushima power plant.