S. Korea renews concerns over possible release of tainted Fukushima water
SEOUL, South Korea on Tuesday reiterated its concerns over Japan’s potential move to release radioactive water from its disabled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.
Japan has been mulling over options to discharge the water from the nuclear plant, which was devastated by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011.
An estimated 1.1 million tons of tainted water is in temporary storage at the Fukushima plant.
South Korea’s Vice Minister of Science and ICT Jeong Byung-seon renewed concerns over Japan’s potential move in a recorded message at an annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA), according to the science ministry.
The general conference of the U.N. nuclear watchdog was held partially online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jeong said releasing the tainted water would impact the global marine environment and that its method and long-term environmental risks need careful consideration through cooperation with global agencies, such as the IAEA.
The vice minister also called for an active role of the IAEA to facilitate transparency in the water’s disposal process, adding that Japan’s disposal plans should follow international law, such as the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The science ministry said the vice minister will convey South Korea’s concerns to IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in a separate meeting Wednesday.
The fallout of the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has been a source of contention between the two neighboring countries, with South Korea imposing a ban on all seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima in 2013.
Source: Yonhap News Agency