Japan to Brief Korea on Radioactive Water Release

  • By Roh Suk-jo

    November 23, 2020 09:36

    The Japanese government last week offered to share information with Korea and other neighboring countries should it decide to discharge radioactive water from the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima.

    The Japanese Embassy in Seoul told reporters at a press conference on Nov. 20 that Tokyo "will come up with ways to adequately control and monitor the discharge and discuss them with neighboring countries."

    "We are fully aware of the Korean government's position and will respond sincerely," an embassy official added. The nuclear plant was crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

    The move also appears aimed at diffusing fears of radioactive contamination ahead of the postponed Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year.

    Activists protest, against Japan's plan to discharge radioactive water into the ocean, in Seoul on Nov. 9. /Newsis

    Currently the radioactive water is stored in a tank at the plant after it was filtered with the Advanced Liquid Processing System or ALPS, but the tank will be full by around the summer of 2022, requiring it to be discharged into the ocean.

    "We can't say when the discharge will start, but... by 2022 the situation will become difficult," the official said, adding that the timing of the discharge will be decided "in the near future." "I can't say for certain, but it could happen within this year," the official added.

    Filtering cannot remove tritium but the official said radiation levels will be within a safe limit according to scientific standards. "We thoroughly understand the concerns of the Korean government and that is why we came up with this press conference to explain things. There is no way we would do anything that is harmful to the Japanese public and other people."

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