China bans seafood from Japan after Fukushima nuclear plant begins releasing wastewater

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Japan began to release treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean Thursday amid opposition from some domestic activists and loud objections from neighboring countries including China, which announced a ban on all seafood from the country.

The gradual discharge of an estimated 1.3 million metric tons of wastewater from the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean began around 1 p.m. local time (12 a.m. Thursday ET), said the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco).

The whole process is expected to take about 30 years to complete.

The plan has been approved by Japan’s government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, which said last month that the release met international safety standards and would have “negligible radiological impact to people and the environment.”