CLAT 2024 Current Affairs/GK Passage Based MCQ 14

Directions: read the following passage and answer the questions that follow

Japan's decision to release over 1 million tons of treated but potentially radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea has ignited strong opposition and anxiety among neighboring countries, particularly South Korea. This move has raised serious concerns about the potential impact on the marine environment, global health, and the livelihoods of those dependent on the affected waters.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant meltdown in 2011, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami, resulted in the release of significant amounts of radioactive materials into the environment. While no immediate deaths were attributed to the incident, the earthquake and tsunami claimed the lives of around 18,000 people. Since then, Japan has been storing the cooling water used for nuclear fuel and rain and groundwater seeping through the damaged reactor buildings in large tanks on site.

The water is treated using the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), a filtering system that effectively removes most radioactive elements except for tritium, a hydrogen isotope that is difficult to separate. Japan contends that it has run out of space to store the water and believes that releasing it into the sea is the best solution. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is assisting Japan in this endeavor.

However, the concerns raised by neighboring countries are valid. South Korea, in particular, fears that the water release will contaminate its waters, salt, and seafood, thereby affecting its fishing industry and public health. The soaring demand for salt in South Korea has already led to a nearly 27% price surge, a consequence of both stockpiling and external factors such as weather and lower production. China has also criticized Japan's plan, questioning its transparency and expressing worries about the potential impact on the marine environment and global health.

This situation reminds us of the major nuclear disasters that have occurred throughout history. The Chernobyl Disaster in 1986 and the Three Mile Island Accident in 1979 stand as grim reminders of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear accidents. The Kyshtym Disaster in 1957 serves as a chilling example of the dangers posed by mishandling nuclear waste.

Nuclear power plants are meant to harness nuclear fission to generate electricity. The process involves splitting atoms apart to release energy. However, accidents like those mentioned above underscore the inherent risks associated with this technology. Proper safeguards and strict adherence to safety protocols are essential to prevent such disasters and protect both human lives and the environment.

Given the potential consequences of releasing the Fukushima water into the sea, it is imperative that Japan takes into account the concerns expressed by its neighboring countries. Transparency, scientific collaboration, and open dialogue are crucial to address the anxieties and ensure the protection of the marine ecosystem and the well-being of communities that rely on the affected waters.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plays a significant role in promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and preventing its misuse for military purposes. Its involvement in assisting Japan highlights the need for international cooperation and expertise in dealing with complex nuclear issues. As the world grapples with the challenges posed by nuclear energy, it is imperative that nations work together to prioritize safety, sustainability, and the well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

In conclusion, the release of Fukushima water into the sea is a matter of global concern. It is crucial for Japan to address the fears and reservations expressed by neighboring countries, particularly South Korea. The lessons from past nuclear disasters serve as reminders of the need for caution, transparency, and robust safety measures. International collaboration, guided by organizations such as the IAEA, can play a pivotal role in ensuring that decisions related to nuclear energy prioritize the protection of both people and the environment.

What sparked strong opposition and anxiety among neighboring countries, particularly South Korea?

What is the filtering system used to treat the water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant?

Which radioactive element is difficult to separate and remains in the treated water?

Which organization is assisting Japan in releasing the water into the sea?

What is the potential impact of the water release according to South Korea?

Which major nuclear disaster occurred in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant?

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CLAT 2024 Current Affairs/GK Passage Based MCQ 14

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