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Nuclear experts again call on Japan to provide transparent info on Fukushima water release

All News 17:31 April 26, 2021

SEOUL, April 26 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean nuclear experts called on Japan on Monday to provide transparent information on its decision-making process to release contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, also urging the neighboring country to offer more information on its potential impact on seas near the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea has expressed concerns over Japan's announcement earlier this month to release about 1.3 million tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean from the plant wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The Korean Nuclear Society said in a statement that Japan should make its decision-making process for the release public, questioning whether the move was a final and inevitable choice.

It also called on Japan to provide information on the release's potential impact on seas surrounding the Korean Peninsula and ensure that South Korean experts take part in the verification and monitoring process of the planned release.

Japan has said it will cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for the release, while South Korea has expressed intent to take part in the IAEA monitoring team.

The society, however, cautioned against hasty conclusions that Japan's move could have health risks to South Koreans.

"Even in very conservative estimates, the radiation impact is estimated to be insignificant," the statement read.

The society said that radiation exposure to South Koreans from the release would amount to one three-hundred millionth of the radiation dose limit for an ordinary person, considering the time it takes to arrive to South Korean waters and dilution from seawater.

It added that the analysis is based on available data from Japan and would require further verification.

Concerns over Japan's move have grown in South Korea, with a civic environmental organization last week filing a court injunction against the release.

Fishing boats sail in waters off Tongyeong on South Korea's south coast on April 26, 2021, as protestors from the fisheries industry hold a protest rally to slam Japan for its decision to discharge water containing radioactive materials stored at the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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