Hagåtña, Guam – In the wake of an announcement of plans to dump radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean, the Oversight Chair of Federal and Foreign Relations wrote expeditiously to the Consul-General of Japan urging for the protection and preservation of the waters of Guam and neighboring islands.
Senator Nelson issued the letter on April 21, 2021, approximately a week after announcements were made that the Government of Japan plans to dump radioactive waste from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster into the Pacific.
“I stand in protest to this decision, as it not only bears direct short and long-term consequences to Guam and Japan’s neighboring islands, but as a hub for international relations,” said Senator Nelson. “With the rise in ocean acidity and temperatures, the addition of radioactive waste could have potentially detrimental effects on the climate as a whole.”
The senator cited expert information from various academic studies, stating that peak radiation levels in the Pacific would remain higher than levels prior to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Further, the addition of radioactive waste could compound the accumulation of pre-existing organic pollutants at the lowest layer of the ocean. Senator Nelson advocated also for the fishing community of Guam and neighboring islands who for generations have relied on the ocean to sustain their livelihoods.
“Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands utilize the ocean not just as a source of sustenance, but also as a definition of our way of life,” Nelson said. “The dumping of radioactive waste would only impede our efforts to utilize marine life resources that benefit our environment, our economy, and our culture.”
Senator Nelson respectfully requested the Government of Japan to reconsider their options in light of the scientific studies and the people of the Pacific. The senator is drafting further communications to the United Nations expressing the concerns of the people of Guam and will additionally highlight concerns in forthcoming legislation.
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For more information, please contact Tihu Lujan at The Office of Senator
Telena Cruz Nelson at (671) 989-7696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.