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Storage tanks for radioactive water are seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, in this picture taken on Feb. 18.
Greenpeace warns Korea of Japan’s radioactive water discharge
August 8, 2019
An international environment organization has said that Japan plans to discharge radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean in the near future and Korea will fall particularly vulnerable.
 
Greenpeace Korea, the global NGO’s branch in Seoul, reposted on Facebook, Wednesday, a column by its nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie published in The Economist, saying Japan is planning to discharge more than 1 billion liters of contaminated water stored at the Fukushima nuclear plant since the massive earthquake and nuclear disaster of 2011.
 
Burnie wrote in his article that the Japanese government has decided recently to take the “cheapest and fastest” way to dispose wastewater, which is to discharge it into the Pacific Ocean.
 
The scientist added neighboring countries will be exposed to radiation as a result and Korea, in particular, will suffer the most from it.
 
He claimed that if 1 million tons of radioactive water is discharged into the ocean, it will take 17 years and 770 million tons of water to dilute it, adding it is impossible not to discharge it without contaminating the ocean, and countries in the Pacific region will be exposed to radiation.
Burnie continued that Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings has tried to find ways to handle the contaminated water for the last eight years but failed. He pointed out that the Shinzo Abe administration never speaks about the risks of radioactive pollutant, and ignores unfavorable reports when they are released.
 
Chang Mari, a climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Korea, said the environmental organization has been watching the status of the nuclear plant in Fukushima, which was damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
 
“Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been conducting technical evaluations to discharge or manage the contaminated water between 2013 and 2016. The affiliated taskforce team dealing with titrated water under the ministry proposed five ways to dispose of the wastewater and it recommended discharging it into the ocean,” Chang told The Korea Times, Thursday.
 
“We have been issuing warnings to the Japanese government of possible consequences that could follow the pollutant discharge, but they all have been disregarded.”
 
The Korean government has been requesting the Japanese government share information on radioactivity levels in Fukushima for years but the latter has refused to do so, according to relevant Korean ministries.
 
“We have been holding meetings with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism every year and we asked them to share data on how Japan has been dealing with contaminated water, but they have kept avoiding answering,” an official at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said.
 
“The radiation levels in the coastal areas here have shown no big changes so far since 2015.”
 
 
Gov’t Says It Will Closely Monitor Fukushima’s Radioactive Wastewater
August 8, 2019
South Korea’s Oceans Ministry said that it is closely watching how Japan will deal with radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant that melted down earlier this decade.
 
Following claims by global environmental watchdog Greenpeace that Japan plans to release more than one million tons of radioactive water into the ocean, a ministry official told KBS on Thursday that the government has been demanding that Tokyo disclose how it plans to deal with the problem. 
 
According to the official, Seoul has in the past demanded Tokyo explain how it plans to deal with the contaminated water, but Tokyo has continuously stonewalled.
 
The ministry has been examining water near South Korea’s shores on a quarterly basis since 2015, and there has been no significant change so far, according to the official.