A team of South Korean experts is set to inspect the power plant, scene of the 2011 accident, to check radioactive water. The mission was made possible by improved relations between Yoon and Kishida. Japan wants to release the water in the summer, raising concerns among South Korean fishermen.
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A team of South Korean experts is in Japan to inspect storage tanks with radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which Japan plans to release into the Pacific Ocean starting this summer.
Japanese authorities claim that the water used to cool the plant after the 2011 earthquake accident is now sufficiently safe and that there is no risk to health and the environment.
Fishermen from neighbouring countries, including South Korea, are not so sure, fearing that their activities could suffer irreversible damage.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida discussed the matter during their meeting at the start of the month in Seoul amid a thaw in relations between the two countries, still frayed by long-standing historical disputes.
At the meeting in the South Korean capital, the two countries agreed to the current inspection.
South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission Chairperson Yoo Guk-hee heads the 21-member inspection team.
During a meeting with officials of the Tokyo Electric Power Co., he said that his experts will check with their "own eyes" the K4 tanks storing the water, and measure radioactivity levels.
The team will also request the “required data" from Japanese authorities, and examine the plant's custom purification system, known as ALPS, to assess whether the treated water is safe enough to be released into the sea.
The tanks currently store over 1.3 million tonnes of water treated by ALPS, and are now almost full. According to Japanese officials, the release into the sea is an inevitable step in the plant’s decommissioning process.