Seoul, Tokyo Discuss Nuclear Safety

      April 12, 2011 08:47

      Experts from Korea and Japan will have their first nuclear safety conference in Tokyo on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This is the first time since the explosion at the plant's No. 1 reactor on March 12 that experts from the two countries have met to exchange views on the accident.

      Japan suggested the conference after an outcry in Korea when Tokyo Electric Power Company released 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea on April 4 without informing Japan's closest neighbor in advance.

      Six Korean experts from the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute will attend the conference accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Korean Embassy in Tokyo.

      The Japanese side will be represented by researchers at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, and officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

      "No decision has been made whether Korean experts will be allowed to stay permanently in Japan, as U.S. and French experts are, and participate in efforts to find solutions at the scene of the accident," a government official said. "We'll discuss the possibility of experts staying permanently to monitor radiation and carry out on-site inspections."

      Korea, China and Japan will release a joint statement on nuclear safety cooperation at a trilateral summit scheduled for next month in Tokyo.

      Meanwhile, no radioactive substances released from the Fukushima plant were detected in water samples from the three seas around Korea, the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety announced Monday. Although traces of radioactive cesium were found in some fish, the amounts were similar to pre-explosion time.

      The researchers sampled water from the surface and 50 m below in 12 spots offshore and nine further out to sea from March 26 to April 6.

      No Byung-hwan of KINS, said, "We believe that fish in Korean waters are not affected by the disaster because the amount [of cesium] found before and after the accident remained similar." According to KINS, even before the accident very small traces of radioactive substances that are not harmful to human health were found in fish caught offshore and out at sea.

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