Menu Content
Go Top


Japan to Discharge Radioactive Water into Pacific Ocean despite S. Korean Protests

Written: 2021-04-13 14:33:01Updated: 2021-04-13 19:27:55

Japan to Discharge Radioactive Water into Pacific Ocean despite S. Korean Protests

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Following years of debate, Japan announced that it will release the radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. In a bid to appease growing concerns over its adverse health and environmental effects, Tokyo said it would take precautions and meet international standards. But neighboring countries, including South Korea, expressed concerns, calling the decision, “unacceptable.”
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: Japan has announced that it will release treated but still radioactive water from the now-defunct Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in about two years.

In a news conference on Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga introduced the planned discharge that will take place over the span of two to three decades.

[Sound bite: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Japanese-English translation)]
"How to take care of the treated water is an unavoidable obstacle in the process of the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. We will make sure to secure the safety level way over the benchmark... "

A massive earthquake and 15-meter tsunami in 2011 led to the meltdown of reactors at the power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, requiring the Japanese government to inject water to cool off the cores. 

A total of more than one-point-25 million tons of that water is now stored in tanks at the plant. Reaching over 91 percent of the storage capacity, the amount is enough to fill the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium.

Under the plan, the Advanced Liquid Processing System(ALPS) will treat the contaminated water, eventually removing most of the radioactive materials except for tritium. 

[Sound bite: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Japanese-English translation)]
"We will decrease the tritium concentration level to about one-fortieth of the benchmark set by Japan and one-seventh of the benchmark for drinkable water set by the WHO. Furthermore, we will maintain transparency with the eyes of third parties such as IAEA and continue monitoring closely.

Despite its claims, the move sparked protests in Japan, as well as South Korea, China and other neighboring countries.

[Sound bite: Protest against Japan’s release of radioactive water (Apr. 13, Seoul)]

The South Korean government held a news conference, expressing “deep regret” over the decision. 

[Sound bite: Koo Yun-cheol – Minister, Office for Gov’t Policy Coordination (Korean-English translation)]
"This decision by the Japanese government can never be accepted. The release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant will not only threaten the safety of neighboring countries and their marine ecology, but also was a decision made unilaterally without the consent of or sufficient consultation with its nearest neighbor, South Korea."

While neighboring countries and hundreds of civic groups expressed concerns, the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) expressed support for the planned release, saying nuclear plants around the world use a similar process.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

Related News

Editor's Pick


This website uses cookies and other technology to enhance quality of service. Continuous usage of the website will be considered as giving consent to the application of such technology and the policy of KBS. For further details >