North Korea’s nuclear tests and Japan radioactive disposal

Alicia Moon 10-I

There have been several reports of North Korea and Japan throwing out radioactive waste into water. This is due to ongoing nuclear tests that are now affecting aquatic environments and communities in Japan and North Korea. 

North Korea has performed 6 nuclear tests, but the question is, where are these tests disposed of? There are rumors that claim this nuclear waste is being thrown into potable water, of which people use in their day to day lives. By doing so it affects the food citizens consume, the water they drink and the environment. When investigating the validity of this hearsay, I found that North Koreans, that have escaped to South Korea, took a test before entering the country. Shockingly for most refugees, inside their bodies protruded high percentages of nuclear or radioactive water.

In simpler terms, let’s make a timeline of what has happened. In 2006 North Koreas performed the first nuclear test of a long-range missile. In 2009 a second test was done, which was condemned by the UN Security Council who later imposed sanctions on the country. In 2013 Kim Jong Un in defiance of the United States authorized another test and the UN Security Council imposes additional sanctions. In 2016 a successful “hydrogen bomb” was launched in North Korea detected by the UN geographical team that sensed a non-seismic movement of 5.1 intensity. Another test was detected in the same spot after 8 months. In 2017 North Korea launches the last test causing a 6.3 seismic affecting a large part of Pyongyang city. Followed by a mocking from Trump towards the North Korean leader on twitter saying “I have a larger and more functional nuclear button than the North Korean leader”.

Moreover, Japan’s radioactive activities were revealed by the South Koreans, because the radioactive disposal is dumped in the Pacific Ocean it affects South Korea immensely. Japan has announced that “We would never do something that would damage our beautiful ocean.” But evidence tells us otherwise.

Because Japan finds no other way of throwing out radioactive waste, the government has said that resorted to dumping this waste into the Pacific. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco)  is currently trying to dispose of 1 million tonnes of radioactive waste directly into the ocean. Tepco has struggled with managing these tonnes of waste in the hopes that it won’t melt away damaged reactor cores, which could cause a nuclear meltdown that destroys the damaged reactor cores. The Tepco team has announced that more than 1000 tanks at Fukushima Daiki Site are being held but around the summer of 2022, there won’t be enough storage room to hold up more radioactive waste. 

The Japanese government had spent 260 million pounds building a frozen underground wall so the groundwater wouldn’t reach the damaged cores. The wall, however, has succeeded only in reducing the flow of groundwater from about 500 tonnes a day to about 100 tonnes a day.

The amount of water that would be dumped into the ocean is yet to be announced but the government won’t allow it until investigations are over. This matter has also affected South Korea’s overall health.

Because both countries are famous for their seafood, the radioactive waste being dumped in their waters is affecting Japanese seafood. South Koreans make sure to check these products because If an infected product is consumed by accident it causes severe weakness, fatigue, fainting, confusion, and some cases of fatal damage. Although it is not directly affecting Korean seafood, the products exported from Japan being sold in Korean markets, which means national health is at risk

Life for Koreans and Japanese is getting harder and is only bound to get worse. Ocean life between these two countries is highly affected by their imprudent actions and might no longer be potable in the next few years. It is also possible, in a non-specific timeline, that all countries surrounded by the Pacific Ocean could be affected by radioactive and nuclear waste due to a lack of space for all the radioactive water if the government continues to dump radioactive waste into the ocean.

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