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Korean civic groups condemn Japan's release of radioactive water as nuclear terror

All News 11:54 April 13, 2021

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean civic groups on Tuesday asked Japan to retract its decision to release contaminated water from its wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, denouncing the move as nuclear terrorism.

An alliance of 31 anti-nuclear and environmental civic groups in South Korea issued a statement expressing resentment at the Japanese government's move to release contaminated Fukushima water despite objections from neighboring countries and vowing to do everything possible to prevent what it calls nuclear terror.

"The Japanese government said it will gradually release radioactive water after diluting it to a level that is harmless to the human body. But diluting will not change the total amount of radioactive materials released into the sea," the statement said, warning it will become an irreparable disaster for humans beyond the marine ecosystem.

South Korean civic activists stage a protest against the Japanese government's decision to discharge radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean during a news conference in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on April 13, 2021. (Yonhap)

Tokyo announced earlier in the day that it plans to start releasing massive amounts of radioactive water, which has been stored in tanks at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, in two years.

A number of environmental civic activists, including those from Youth 4 Climate Action, held a news conference in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in the morning, condemning the Tokyo government's decision. They openly asked the Japanese embassy the reasons for pushing to release contaminated water regardless of objections from Japanese fishermen as well as neighboring countries.

South Korean civic activists throw a letter of protest against Japan's decision to release radioactive Fukushima water into the sea toward the entrance of a building housing the Japanese Embassy in downtown Seoul on April 13, 2021. (Yonhap)

Both activists and experts raised questions over Japan's plan to dilute the radioactive contaminated water.

"Radioactive material is different from yellow dust that dissipates as time goes by. The steady release of even a small amount of radioactive material will have a lasting effect on marine life. Such material doesn't disappear easily, and the problem is the difficulty in predicting the damage," an anti-nuclear activist said.

The activist groups are also calling on the South Korean government to take strong countermeasures, including filing a complaint with the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, and increase pressure on Japan in solidarity with international civic organizations.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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