Concerned by the release of Fukushima waters, South Korea tests school meals
Local authorities are trying to reassure public opinion. Japan continues to claim that the waters from the nuclear power plant have been treated. Greenpeace recently criticised Tokyo's plans, but, so far, no irregularities have been found in seafood served in South Korean schools.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE) announced full radiation safety tests into school meals to reassure parents amid concerns over Japan's plan to release into the Pacific Ocean contaminated waters from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
SMOE was originally expected to conduct sample tests but decided for full examinations when it became clear that the release plan was going ahead, probably before the end of this year.
Since 2013, South Korea has banned all fish imports from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima; the government yesterday said that the ban would remain in place regardless of Japan’s actions.
Japanese authorities have long maintained that the waters contaminated by the nuclear power plant disaster had been treated and could be released into the ocean. In March 2011, a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami that damaged the nuclear power plant.
Greenpeace recently criticised the Japanese government's decision, saying that it was harmful to marine ecology.
South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety conducts regular radiation tests on imported fish, while the National Fishery Products Quality Management Service tests domestic products.
The authorities plan two to three more tests on the seafood to be used as ingredients in school meals in Seoul.
SMOE said it carried out radiation level tests in 267 schools in 2021 and 370 schools in 2022 finding no irregularities.