In response to Tokyo’s move, the South Korean government has called on Japan to “transparently” disclose related information. To address public concern about safety, Seoul plans to send experts to Fukushima every two weeks, and will also receive the latest data from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Soon after Japan started releasing the wastewater on Thursday, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said in a briefing that what’s important now is for Japan to keep its promise to the international community –to strictly follow the scientific guidelines and transparently disclose information.
“Our government hopes and urges the Japanese government to disclose information about the water discharge process that will continue over the next 30 years –in a transparent and responsible manner.”
Noting that the South Korean government has been putting the health and safety of people in Korea first and foremost, he said “excessive concern” is unnecessary, and said import bans on fisheries and food products from Fukushima will be in place until public concerns are eased. This comes amid public fear and frustration in South Korea, with civic groups launching protests, despite the government’s reassurances. The prime minister also gave details on what the country has agreed upon with Japan, through negotiations.
First, South Korean experts will be sent to the IAEA office in Fukushima every two weeks, to check if Japan is following IAEA safety standards,.. and to make sure it doesn’t go wrong. Second, even when the experts are not there Japan will provide data on the wastewater release to the South Korean government every hour. Also, South Korea will be closely communicating with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Officials from the two sides that are in charge of the role will receive the latest information every single day through regular meetings that will be held virtually. Separately, the IAEA, which opened an office at the Fukushima nuclear power plant last month, launched an on-site inspection. It released new information on its website on Thursday, that provides real-time data on the safety of each of the six steps included in the discharge process. As of 8 PM, all six stages were given the green light, indicating that there were no unexpected levels of radiation, and the amount of tritium in the water was 207 becquerel per liter. Tritium is a material that will remain, even after it goes through the purification system –as it’s hard to separate from water.
Despite concerns from Japan’s local fishing groups and nearby countries, the UN nuclear watchdog had earlier approved the discharge –saying it finds the plans to be “consistent” with international safety standards.
Source: Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.