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Potential impacts of Fukushima nuclear wastewater discharge on nutrient supply and greenhouse gas emissions of food systems...

by Jiafu Mao
Publication Type
Journal Name
Resources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication Date
Page Numbers
106985 to 106985

Seafood plays a critical role in promoting a nutritious and climate-friendly food system but faces challenges from marine contamination that pose food safety risks. To address these challenges, we developed a Marine Pollution-induced Food System Risk Assessment and Response (MP-FSRAR) model to assess the impact of consumer perceptions of marine pollution risk events on nutrient supply and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Applying this model to the proposed Fukushima Nuclear Wastewater Discharge (FNWD) into the Pacific Ocean, we identified the potential variation in nutrient supply and GHG emissions resulting from changes in Chinese consumers' willingness to consume seafood under 12 scenarios. Our analysis revealed nutrient supply gaps in daily protein, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids, ranging from 1.5 to 2.7 g/person, 2.5–4.5 mg/person, 5.6–10.3 mcg/person, and 0.08–0.14 g/person, respectively. Closing the protein gap in China would require an additional 3.2–15.8 billion kg yr−1 protein-rich foods, including aquatic, livestock, dairy, and pulses. Additional food supply would increase extra GHG emissions by 1–79 billion kg CO2e yr−1, resulting in potential GHG emissions being transmitted to other countries through the trade chain. Furthermore, we found that the livestock-based food substitution pathway had 40 times higher GHG emissions than the plant-based one. Our MP-FSRAR model provides global stakeholders with new perspectives on the potential consequences of consumer perceptions of marine pollution risks and offers valuable insights for developing countermeasures to build a more resilient and low-carbon food system.