March 17, 2011 11:19
Tokyo has asked Seoul for vast quantities of boric acid to keep stricken reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station cool. Boric acid lowers the temperatures of the reactors by preventing nuclear fission.
Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Joong-kyung Wednesday said Japan officially asked for 52.6 tons of boric acid. "We'll send it as quickly as possible once we've checked that our stockpile is suitable for the Japanese nuclear plant," he added.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is experiencing disruption to electricity supply in the wake of a series of explosions at the plant, has also asked the Korea Gas Corporation for shipments of liquefied natural gas to fuel thermal power generation. KGC agreed to ship 500,000 tons to Japan by early April.
JX NOE, Japan's largest oil refinery which has sustained earthquake damage to production facilities, asked Korean refiners including SK Innovation and GS Caltex to supply petroleum products and buy crude oil it holds but failed to process due to the earthquake.
The refiners decided to give priority to helping the Japanese firms. The earthquake has left about 20 percent of oil refineries in Japan suspended.
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