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S. Korean researchers find ways to decontaminate radioactive water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant

August 23, 2022

Plans by Japan to release wastewater from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean are fueling renewed interest in efforts to effectively eliminate radioactive elements.
Well researchers here appear to be have made some remarkable advances to that end.
Shin Ye-eun has details.

“In a few months, we may see coasts like where I’m at right now contaminated with nuclear waste.
That’s because Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has given the green light to release radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant starting next spring.
Though the Japanese government said it would dilute the water so tritium levels fall below what’s considered dangerous, neighboring countries like South Korea and China have expressed concerns.
That’s why a group of researchers here in the country has decided to take action.
They’ve found a way to get rid of harmful, radioactive elements like iodine from the sea.
Let’s go find out how.”

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute took the initiative in 2019.
In just three years, they have accomplished what other researchers around the world couldn’t.
They found a way to selectively remove radioactive iodine from water.

What did the trick was coating magnetic iron nanoparticles with platinum.
Because platinum sticks well to iodine, it can suck the radioactive particles out.
Being able to selectively remove radioactive elements is set to be a game changer.

“We’ve now found a way to easily and efficiently save the earth. Unlike other adsorbents out there, ours can be used up to 1-hundred times. Because we’re able to selectively get rid of radioactive iodine, the cleaned-up water can still be of use.”

The latest development can also be used at hospitals, to clean up radioactive waste from anticancer drugs.
It can also selectively extract natural iodine, which is used to make medicine.
The team leader said more developments are on the way.

“Right now, we’re only able to decontaminate 20 liters of water at once. We hope we can expand the maximum capacity before this development gets commercialized. We’re also working on extracting other radioactive elements like caesium.”

“Once this technology is commercialized, South Korea will be one of the first countries in the world to suck out millions of tons worth of iodine from the sea.


August 28, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Korea considering taking Japan’s Fukushima plan to int’l tribunal: oceans minister

Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan

August 1, 2022

Korea is considering whether to petition an international court over Japan’s decision to discharge radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, the oceans minister said Monday.

Last month, Japan’s nuclear regulator, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, formally approved the plan to discharge the radioactive waste water stored in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. More than 1.2 million tons of tritium-laced water is expected to be released.

During a parliamentary committee session Monday, Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan said that the government-wide task force on the Fukushima plan has reviewed “multiple times” whether to take the issue to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

Korea has urged Japan to have in-depth discussions with neighboring countries before pushing ahead with the plan, and has been working to garner international support for alternatives.

“The government, primarily, is making constant efforts to prevent Japan from releasing the contaminated water,” Cho said. “The government has raised the issue during multilateral meetings, stressing scientific and objective analysis verifications.”

Some lawmakers and civic groups have criticized the Seoul government for not doing enough to prevent the plan.

“We do not accept the release plan. Our stance is that we also need to think of responses (to its actual release),” Cho added.

Last year, then-President Moon Jae-in ordered officials to explore referring Japan’s Fukushima plan to the international court, including filing for an injunction.

In August 2021, the Seoul government submitted a document to the London Protocol secretariat that suggests the formation of a task force in charge of the Fukushima issue, though Japan has insisted that the matter is not subject to discussions under the Protocol.

The London Protocol calls for banning dumping, with some exceptions. It has 53 signatories, including Korea which joined it in 2009. (Yonhap)

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

South Koreans hold protests to condemn Japan’s sewage discharge into the sea

July 27, 2022

South Koreans hold protests against Japan for dumping sewage into the sea

Hangzhou Net Release time: 2022-07-27 12:55

CCTV news client news on the 26th local time, some South Koreans came to the Japanese embassy in South Korea to hold a protest rally, condemning the Japanese nuclear regulator for approving the plan to discharge nuclear polluted water into the sea, and asking the Japanese government to withdraw the relevant decision.

On the same day, protesters held placards and shouted slogans, strongly condemning Japan’s nuclear-polluted water discharge plan. They say the ocean is shared by mankind, not Japan’s own. Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean endangers the health of all human beings and must be stopped.

Protester Kim Soo-hyung: The lives and safety of people all over the world will be destroyed. The decision to (nuclearly pollute the water and discharge the sea) is a major crime that may take away the future of mankind.

Protesters also said that the South Korean government must take a tougher stance and resolutely prevent Japan from discharging nuclear-contaminated water into the sea.

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Korea not to lift Fukushima seafood import ban for CPTPP entry push: oceans minister

Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan

May 25, 2022

Korea’s oceans minister said Wednesday that the country will not lift a ban on imports of seafood from Japan’s Fukushima area for the sake of winning Japan’s support for the country’s push to join a major free trade agreement.

Seoul decided to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which involves 11 nations, including Japan and Australia, and has been working on due domestic procedures to submit an application.

Japan has been reluctant to agree to Korea’s entry, as it has banned all seafood imports from Japan’s Fukushima regions since 2013 on concerns over radiation levels following the 2011 nuclear power plant meltdown there.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join the CPTPP,” Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan said during a meeting with reporters.

Cho earlier said the issue regarding regulations on fishery products was directly linked to the health and safety of the people so that it was not a matter being discussed under any international customs agreements.

Korea needs unanimous support from the 11 member states to win membership accreditation.

As for the now-expired fisheries agreement between Seoul and Tokyo, the minister vowed efforts to resume negotiations despite stark differences in their stances amid diplomatic rows stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

The bilateral fisheries agreement has not been renewed after expiring in 2016, as the two sides failed to narrow the gap on fishing quotas and other issues.

Officials here have said that Japan’s demand is closely related to Korea’s sovereignty over its easternmost islets of Dokdo in the East Sea.

“Japan has not been very active in resuming talks on the agreement,” Cho said. “We will continue efforts to make progress on the matter and to develop bilateral relations in a future-oriented fashion.” (Yonhap)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

South Korea to keep import ban on Japan seafood due to Fukushima concern

File photo taken in April 2019 shows seafood at a fishing port in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan.

KYODO NEWS – May 25, 2022

South Korea will maintain an import ban on Japanese seafood from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a minister said Wednesday, denying any plan to lift it in a bid to secure Tokyo’s support to join a regional free trade accord.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join” the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord, Oceans Minister Cho Seung Hwan said during a meeting with reporters, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Japan is one of the leading members of the 11-nation TPP, which also includes Australia, Singapore and Mexico. Consent of all members is required for new membership.

South Korea has been working on domestic procedures to submit an application, Yonhap said.

China and Taiwan are also seeking to join the TPP.

Taiwan in February lifted an import ban on food products from Fukushima and some other Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Amid radiation concerns, South Korea has banned Japanese seafood imports from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Korea to keep close tabs on Japan’s Fukushima water discharge plan

Civic activists hold a rally in Seoul to oppose Japan’s planned release of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima plant into the ocean, April 20. According to the foreign ministry, Korea will step up communication with Japan and the U.N. nuclear watchdog over Tokyo’s planned release of the radioactive water.

May 22, 2022

Korea will step up communication with Japan and the U.N. nuclear watchdog to address health and security concerns over Tokyo’s planned release of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority gave initial approval Wednesday for Tokyo Electric Power’s plan to discharge water from the plant starting around early 2023. Final approval is planned following a 30-day public comment period.

The foreign ministry said it remains committed to its efforts to ensure Japan safely releases the contaminated water from the plant in line with “international laws and standards” based on “objective and scientific perspective.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is tasked with conducting safety reviews on the planned water release.

“The government will continue to strengthen communication between Korea and Japan, as well as with the international community including the IAEA, by prioritizing public health and security in relation to the (Fukushima) contaminated water,” ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam told a press briefing.

In April 2021, Japan announced a plan to start discharging the radioactive water in 2023 in what is expected to be a decades-long process, as all storage tanks at the Fukushima plant are expected to be full as early as the fall of this year. (Yonhap)

May 22, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Candidates, tell us your stances on Fukushima water release

At a press conference calling on South Korean presidential candidates to set out plans for dealing with Japan’s plans to release contaminated water from the Fukushima site, members of environmental groups put on a sketch wherein one member (wearing a mask that reads: “Korea’s next president”) stops another (wearing a mask of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida) from turning the faucet on contaminated water.


Environmental groups in South Korea are calling on presidential candidates to make public their stances on Japan’s plans to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear site, and to come up with courses of action. Groups including the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM), Nuclear Safety and Future, and Korea Radiation Watch convened for a press conference on Thursday morning in front of KFEM’s offices in Jongno District, Seoul. The groups criticized the government’s response thus far as “timid,” saying that since Japan had announced its intentions to release the radioactive water in April of last year, the government had only gone so far as to express protest to the Japanese Embassy and send a letter of protest to Japan. The groups called on presidential candidates to come up with concrete, practical plans for dealing with the issue.

Members of environmental groups present at the press conference hold up signs as they urge candidates for president to announce their stances on Japan’s plans to release radioactive water into the ocean.
One person present at the press conferences holds up a sign that reads: “Candidates for president! Put forward plans for dealing with contaminated water from Fukushima!”
Those present at the press conference call on presidential candidates to make their stances on Japan’s release of contaminated water into the ocean.

January 12, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan-caught marine products not properly identified in South Korea

Japan is using South Korea and Taiwan desire to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-member trade pact that includes Japan and Australia, as a leverage to force them to lift their Fukushima contaminated food import ban.

Ascidians are caught off Yagawahama in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in April 2019. Sales of the seafood are being affected by an import ban by South Korea.

December 26, 2021

SEOUL — There were more than 200 incidents of Japan-caught fishery products being sold in South Korea without proper identification of their origin from January through November, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

The total number of cases was 203, the highest such figure since the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and 1.5 times the previous record of 137 registered for the whole year of 2019. Damage from groundless rumors related to Japan-caught marine products appears to be widespread under the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The cases were identified by the National Fishery Products Quality Management Service, which is under the wing of the ministry.

The ministry has tightened its controls since the Japanese government decided in April on the planned discharge into the ocean of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. This has led to greater exposure of cases involving marine products whose place of origin is not properly identified.

Since the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima plant in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the South Korean government has continued to prohibit the import of marine products caught in eight prefectures of Japan, including Fukushima and Miyagi.

There is tendency in South Korea to avoid even Japanese fishery products caught outside those eight prefectures. This has led to the problem of sellers offering Japan-caught marine products without indicating they are from Japan, or claiming the products are from South Korea.

Harm from false rumors related to Japan’s fishery products seems to have spread further with the Japanese government’s decision to release treated radioactive water into the sea.

Experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency, and from the United States and South Korea, have judged that TEPCO’s planned release of the treated water is safe.

In a report released in April, the Korean Nuclear Society called on the South Korean government and the nation’s mass media to create appropriate policies and news reports concerning the discharge of treated water, based on scientific facts.

It also appealed to the public on the need for “civic awareness mature enough to determine truth from falsity amid a deluge of information.”

The South Korean government on Dec. 13 made clear its policy of applying to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-member trade pact that includes Japan and Australia.

Seoul’s lifting of import restrictions on fishery products is expected to be one of the focal issues amid the procedures for joining. The South Korean government is also likely to be urged to take steps to deal with the harm from groundless rumors, by conveying information domestically based on scientific assessments.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

S. Korea holds emergency meeting over Japan’s Fukushima water release plans

21 déc. 2021

Earlier this year… Japan announced plans to discharge treated radioactive water from Fukushima nuclear power plant. Neighboring countries expressed concerns. As Tokyo submit a request for an approval… Seoul reiterated its opposition to the idea.

Kim Do-yeon has the details. South Korea has expressed deep concern to Japan after its electrical company Tepco on Tuesday requested regulatory approval to release treated radioactive water from Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea.

South Korea held an emergency Vice Ministerial meeting… and the country’s nuclear safety chiefl affirmed their stance on the matter.

“To share the main points of the letter, we’ve requested that during the process of collecting opinions, in addition to Japan, other countries’ opinions should be taken into account as well as…. while cooperating with the international community. In addition, we requested that relevant information should be transparent, and Japan be cooperative and prompt to South Korea’s request to confirm the release is safe.”

This was the second time South Korea used its nuclear safety commission as a means to send a message to Japan.

The first time was earlier this year when Japan said it had decided to push for the discharge of more than 1 million tons of the water into the ocean.

Tepco’s appeal for regulatory approval this time around… was around 500 pages long… detailing how the water will be released as well as the extent of the dilution process. The firm said… pumps would move the treated water from the tanks to the seashore and through a seabed tunnel before releasing it at a depth of 12 meters, and about 1 kilometer out at sea.

South Korean authorities plan on examining the appeal thoroughly and will request additional information. They will also strengthen its watch over the level of radioactivity in the sea. Currently… it has 32 spots in coastal waters to check for levels of tritium and cesium, and it is planning to add 2 more spots with more frequent checks being carried out.

Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.

December 23, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Greenpeace: TEPCO assessment of Fukushima water dumping lacks analysis of impact on S. Korea

The international environmental organization called TEPCO’s radiological impact assessment “highly selective” in its use of IAEA guidelines

Contaminated water is currently being stored in roughly 1,000 tanks located at the Fukushima Daiichi site.


The international environmental group Greenpeace sent an opinion to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on Thursday stating that the company’s radiological impact assessment of contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant made convenient use of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidelines without considering the potential damages to residents of neighboring countries such as South Korea.

The opinion from Greenpeace was based on its review of the draft version of a contaminated water radiological impact assessment report released by TEPCO last month.

In that draft report, TEPCO claimed that the release of contaminated water into the ocean would have a “very limited” impact on the marine environment. The company has announced that it plans to issue a final report Saturday after gathering outside opinions on the draft.

Commenting on the report, Greenpeace East Asia senior nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie called it a piecemeal radiological assessment that was intended to legitimize the discharge of radioactive water into the ocean.

He also said that TEPCO failed to give an adequate scientific basis for its conclusion that the discharge would not cause damage to the waters or marine ecosystem beyond a range of 10 square kilometers.

In its release of the report, TEPCO said it had been drafted in compliance with IAEA guidelines.

But Greenpeace said that an examination showed that TEPCO not only set a “far too narrow” scope of radiological impact assessment targets, but also that it is “highly selective” in its use of IAEA guidelines.

“Ultimately, the potential damages to residents in South Korea and other neighboring countries were not considered in the scope of the current radiological impact assessment,” it explained.

The IAEA General Safety Guide No. GSG-9 document states that radiological impact assessments should take into account the effects of natural radioactivity, nuclear weapons testing, and nuclear power plant accidents, with measurements of radioactivity concentrations in various environmental areas such as water, soil, plants, and grains around the nuclear power plant site.

Greenpeace explained that TEPCO did not perform the kind of comprehensive environmental impact assessment stipulated in the guidelines, nor did it explain about the long-term radiation damage to the maritime ecosystem as the contaminated water is released over a period of at least 30 years.

“It is deliberately vague,” Greenpeace wrote of Japan’s draft. “It does not conclude there will not be adverse effects on species, on the marine environment, on biodiversity or on fish or fisheries or tourism.”

The organization also criticized the report’s omission of the radioactivity contamination pathways identified to date, including study results published by Japan’s Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) last March.

This indicates that TEPCO did not follow the IAEA’s recommendation to reflect the discovery of new contamination pathways for radioactive substances in its assessment, the organization said. Cesium-bearing particles were detected in all seven samples taken by CRIEPI from sediment along the Fukushima coast.

Greenpeace further said that the report did not offer an explanation on why the ocean discharge of contaminated water was unavoidable, nor did it deal at all with the effect that decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi site would have on the contaminated water.

“The TEPCO radiological impact assessment presumes only that the secondary purification of contaminated water will undoubtedly be successful, which is far from the reality,” said Chang Ma-ri, an anti-nuclear power campaigner with Greenpeace.

“For years now, the ALPS multi-nuclide removal equipment has been failing to fully process highly toxic radioactive substances. Korea and the rest of the international community need to demand that TEPCO examine whether the release of the contaminated water into the ocean is actually unavoidable in scientific and technical terms,” she said.

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , , | Leave a comment

S. Korea voices concerns about Japan’s Fukushima water release plan

Wearing masks depicting incumbent and former Japanese prime ministers, South Korean activists hold a rally in Seoul on Oct. 25, 2021, to condemn Japan’s plan to release radioactive water into the sea from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. (Yonhap)

December 03, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) — South Korea on Friday expressed concerns over Japan’s assessment report about its planned release of radioactive water into the sea from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The stance was delivered at a virtual meeting between South Korea and Japan over a draft report by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) about radioactive impacts of its planned discharge.

Last month, TEPCO, the operator of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima plant, said its planned release of radioactive water into the sea would have a very minimal impact on the marine environment and humans.

In April, Japan announced a plan to start discharging the radioactive water into the sea in 2023 in what is expected to be a decadeslong process, as all storage tanks at the Fukushima plant are expected to be full as early as the fall of 2022.

At the session, the Korean government voiced “regret” that Japan has unveiled the report on the premise that it will release the radioactive water.

“We also expressed concerns over uncertainty about the impact on humans and the environment that the discharge will have,” the government said.

South Korea also called on Japan to disclose related information in a transparent manner to its neighboring countries and sincerely engage in consultations on the issue.

According to Japanese media reports, TEPCO plans to build a roughly 1-kilometer-long undersea tunnel to release the tritium-laced water from the wrecked plant into the waters.

An estimated 1.25 million tons of such water are in temporary storage at the Fukushima nuclear plant on the east coast of Japan, which was devastated by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011.

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Gov’t to strengthen inspection of products from Fukushima

Oceans and Fisheries Minister Moon Seong-hyeok speaks during a government audit held at the National Assembly in Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

October 8, 2021

By Kim Hyun-bin

Oceans and Fisheries Minister Moon Seong-hyeok vowed to strengthen monitoring of water and marine products for possible radioactivity from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

“We will thoroughly establish a safety net to better secure the safety of marine products and prevent accidents,” Minister Moon during the National Assembly’s annual inspection of the ministry, Thursday. “We will expand radioactivity monitoring at our shores to prevent contaminated water coming from the Fukushima plant and strengthen inspections of marine safety tests and check the origin of country products are imported from.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also plans to strengthen related measures. This month, the agency will inspect the contamination being released at unit 1 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and its effects on the ocean.

One of the most anticipated issues was the possible revision of the country’s Marine Transportation Act, aimed to prevent the Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) from investigating issues regarding collective actions taken by domestic shipping companies.

However, this plan was postponed due to growing opposition from importers and exporters.

According to a survey the Korea Federation of SMEs conducted of 174 mid-size companies related to exports and imports, 85.1 percent were against the revision to the Marine Transportation Act, with 14.9 percent in support.

Since 2018, the KFTC has been investigating allegations that HMM and others colluded to boost freight rates for a Southeast Asian sea route.

After expanding its investigations of foreign firms in May, the regulator informed 23 local and foreign shippers that they may face fines totaling 800 billion won if they are found in violation of the Fair Trade Act.

Local shippers have protested fiercely against the regulator’s move. They claimed they had no choice but to take collective action to compete with global shipping powerhouses, and that their collective actions on freight costs and other contract conditions were permissible under the country’s Maritime Shipping Act.

Late last month, the Agriculture, Food, Rural Affairs, Oceans and Fisheries Committee passed a revised bill stating that collective actions by shippers will not be subject to the antitrust act.

“We are trying to clarify that the collective actions taken by marine shipping companies is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries,” Minister Moon said during a press conference, Tuesday. “We are not giving the shipping companies a break. We are pushing for stricter consequences.”

The ministry said it is focusing on reconstructing the domestic marine shipping industry by providing more support and creating helpful policies in import and export logistics.

Marine shipping sales are expected to reach 40 trillion won, and major freight rate indexes have recovered to levels prior to the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, the ministry said.

“We are planning to provide effective support measures including operating mega container ships, expanding national flag carriers and providing around 6 trillion won in liquidity to stabilize shippers’ management to better reconstruct the marine shipping industry,” Moon said. “Late last year, we deployed 74 temporary vessels for 17,000 TEU freight transportation support and worked hard to reduce import- and export-related difficulties for local firms.”

October 7, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Korean, Japanese bishops oppose discharge from Fukushima plant

Scientists, environmentalists and fishing groups are against the idea of releasing contaminated water into the sea

February 17, 2021

Catholic bishops in South Korea and Japan have issued a joint statement to strongly oppose the Japanese government’s decision to discharge radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea.

Following years of debate over the disposal of the liquid which includes water used to cool the Fukushima Daiichi plant that was hit by a massive tsunami and earthquake in 2011, Japanese authorities have decided to release a million tonnes of treated water into the sea.

The initial plan was to start releasing the water from 2022 but a final decision has not been made, according to Japanese media.

Most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed using a complex filtration process. But one isotope, tritium, cannot be removed, so water has been stored in huge tanks that will fill up by 2022, the BBC reported.

Scientists, environmentalists and fishing groups have opposed the idea of releasing contaminated water into the sea, citing possible risks. 

“We oppose the discharge of tritium-containing water, a radioactive material that has been purified and treated, into the ocean,” said a joint statement from the Justice and Peace Commissions of the bishops’ conferences of Korea and Japan, the Korean bishops’ ecological and environmental committee and the Japanese bishops’ subcommittee on nuclear for peace.

The statement has been signed by heads of each organization and concerns have been raised about the direct impact of the contaminated water on public health and marine life. 

“The water contains tritium, which is a radioactive material, purified through the contaminated water treatment system of the Fukushima plant. Secondary treatment of radionuclides remaining in the treated water is still in the testing stage, and no definite results have been obtained,” the statement said.

The statement also pointed out that the report from the Japanese government did not mention the effects of the treated water on marine life, the marine environment and human health.

“Once released into the sea, radioactive material cannot be restored to its original state. It will have impacts on humans and nature. It will cause greater anxiety and damage to people around the world.”

In a separate statement, the Korean bishops’ ecological and environmental committee expressed concerns about the recent tritium leak at the Wolseong nuclear power plant in Gyeongju in South Korea.

On Jan. 7, Korean media reported on radioactivity leaking from the plant, prompting Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company to investigate. The initial results exposed a wide range of radioactive contamination in the plant and adjacent areas

The Korean Church demanded the government “conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the leakage and immediate follow-up measures for radioactive leaks in all nuclear power plants.”

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan claims to be willing to consult with neighboring counties like South Korea to ensure the safe release of contaminated water from its Fukushima nuclear power plant

Japan to consult with S. Korea in monitoring radioactive water disposal from Fukushima plant

November 20, 2020

Japan is willing to consult with neighboring counties like South Korea to ensure the safe release of contaminated water from its Fukushima nuclear power plant.
That’s what was said by a senior Japanese embassy official in Seoul on Friday as Tokyo is expected to soon announce its plan to discharge more than one.two million tons of radioactive water into the sea possibly starting in 2022.
The official said the embassy is willing to disclose all information if Seoul participates in the monitoring process to help dispel worries raised by fisheries industries and environmental groups.

Japanese Embassy implies likelihood of Fukushima releasing contaminated water

November. 21, 2020

A top-ranking official at the Japanese Embassy in South Korea on Friday mentioned Japan’s plan to release contaminated water that was used to cool the the first nuclear power plant in Fukushima in an interview with South Korean journalists, saying, “It is too early to affirm the plan but it may be specified within this year. We expect to release the water around summer 2022.” “The levels of radioactive substances at the time of release will meet regulatory standards,” he said.

The remarks seemingly intend to bring the issue to the surface with the aim of alleviating a backlash from South Korea. If Tokyo makes an official announcement to release contaminated water, it will serve as the first trigger for dispute between the two neighboring nations since the inauguration of the Suga administration.  

Saying that the decision on the issue may not be put off indefinitely, the high-ranking official expected Tokyo to determine the timing of releasing the used cooling water before the opening of next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games at the latest. “In 2022, the site around the Fukushima power plants will be filled up with storage tanks where contaminated water is kept. Thus, there will be no space for extra tanks,” he said.

Regarding the South Korean government’s concerns about the release of contaminated water, the official replied that Japan has monitoring measures in place while promising to disclose all relevant information. However, he also remarked that the decision per se is within the domain of sovereignty, making it clear that Japan has no intention of discussing the issue. In response, the South Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that it will demand that Japan should keep related information open and accessible at all times.

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan willing to work with S. Korea on monitoring of Fukushima water treatment: embassy official

Activists stage a campaign against Japan’s envisioned plan to discharge into the sea the contaminated water from its wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant in front of the former site of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, located in Seoul’s central Jongno district, on Nov. 9.

Nov 20, 2020

Japan is willing to work with South Korea on the monitoring of the envisioned treatment and release into the ocean of contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, a senior embassy official said Friday.

The official’s remark comes as Tokyo is expected to soon announce its plan to gradually discharge into the sea more than 1.2 million tons of radioactive water stored in tanks since the 2011 meltdowns following an earthquake and tsunami.

Tokyo has pushed for the disposal into the Pacific Ocean, saying that the storage capacity will run out by the summer of 2022 and that it’s the most realistic and relatively harmless disposal method. But such a plan has sparked strong opposition and worries among the public in both South Korea and Japan.

“We will disclose all information if you’re interested in monitoring,” an official from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul said on condition of anonymity during a media briefing when asked if Tokyo is willing to verify the treatment process and share related data with Seoul.

Exactly how the monitoring will be carried out and shared with other countries has yet to be decided, but Tokyo intends to do it through consultations with neighboring countries, the official said.

“We are fully aware of the South Korean government’s policy and will faithfully respond to that.”

He added, though, that the actual monitoring, if decided, likely won’t take place until 2022 when the disposal process would begin in earnest.

Japan was expected to finalize the decision late last month but put off the announcement apparently due to strong opposition from the local fisheries industry.

Seoul has repeatedly called for Tokyo to provide concrete explanations as to how it will deal with the radioactive water and transparently share information related to the disposal plan.

Regarding the disclosure of related information, the embassy official stressed that the Japanese government will continue efforts to provide details so as to help dispel worries and fear harbored by South Koreans.

“We have had various occasions where we heard the opinions of many countries, including South Korea … and we’ll continue to do so. We are frequently in contact and cooperating with the South Korean government,” he said.

Environmental groups and activists, such as Greenpeace, have voiced concerns over unknown long-term effects of releasing the treated water and called for further examination.

The Tokyo Electric Power Corp., which operates the plant, says the water will be treated enough to remove all radioactive material before its release except for tritium, an element that it says is largely harmless.

Such a disposal method is also a common standard of practice already employed by other countries, according to Japanese officials. (Yonhap)

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment