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Civic groups protest Japan's plan to release Fukushima water via undersea tunnel

All News 15:28 August 27, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korean civic groups on Friday urged Japan to scrap its plan to build an undersea tunnel to discharge radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

The groups, including the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements and the Korea Radiation Watch, held a joint news conference in Seoul to warn about serious environmental problems to be caused by a dumping of contaminated water through an undersea tunnel.

South Korean civic activists hold a news conference in Seoul on Aug. 27, 2021, to call on Japan to abandon its plan to discharge contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean via an undersea tunnel. (Yonhap)

"If radioactive wastewater is discharged through an undersea tunnel, more serious problems will occur in marine ecosystems," the groups said.

"Radioactive materials will spread much wider and faster in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in unpredictable pollution."

According to Japanese media reports, the Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to build a roughly 1-kilometer-long undersea tunnel to release the tritium-laced water from the wrecked Fukushima plant into the surrounding waters. The reports say the discharge is expected to begin in the spring of 2023 if the procedure goes as planned.

The civic groups also asked the South Korean government to take active countermeasures to deter Japan's radioactive water discharge attempt and transparently disclose all information on such efforts.

On Thursday, Seoul's foreign ministry called in a Japanese Embassy official to lodge a protest over the neighboring country's plan to discharge Fukushima's radioactive water into the ocean.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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