Korea expresses 'strong regret' over Japan's decision to release water from Fukushima

Japan To Release 1 Million Tonnes Waste Water From Fukushima Nuclear Plant Into Sea

Japan To Release 1 Million Tonnes Waste Water From Fukushima Nuclear Plant Into Sea

In a virtual press briefing for local media in March, a Japanese government official said Tokyo can not continue to delay the disposal of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant due to tank storage limits.

An extensive pumping and filtration system known as "ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System)" extracts tonnes of newly contaminated water each day and filters out most radioactive elements.

Almost 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated water, or enough to fill about 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools, is stored in huge tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi plant at an annual cost of about 100 billion yen ($912.66 million) - and space is running out.

The water needs to be filtered again to remove harmful isotopes and will be diluted to meet worldwide standards before any release.

Suga acknowledged that fisheries workers and others are against the idea of releasing the water into the sea due to concerns about reputational damage.

"We can't back this move to break that promise and release the water into the sea unilaterally".

Arguing Tokyo has come under criticism globally over the issue, "Japan can not overlook or shrug off" such a fact and "should not hurt the marine environment, food safety and human health anymore", the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

China said Japan's plan would be damaging to public health and complained Tokyo had made a decision to dispose of the nuclear waste water "without regard for domestic and foreign doubts and opposition".

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South Korea's foreign minister on Monday expressed "serious regret over this decision, which could have a direct or indirect impact on the safety of our people and the surrounding environment in the future".

In a statement on the ministry's website, a spokesman said Japan should refrain from initiating the discharge until it has consulted and reached agreement with all stakeholder countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Releasing into the ocean is done elsewhere".

A government panel earlier endorsed either diluting the treated water and releasing it into the ocean or releasing it as vapour, and the IAEA says either option is acceptable.

Either method would be "in line with well-established practices all around the world", he added.

"The cabinet's decision failed to protect the environment and neglected the large-scale opposition and concerns of the local Fukushima residents, as well as the neighbouring citizens around Japan", said climate and energy campaigner Kazue Suzuki in a statement. The process, however, can not remove tritium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear reactors.

Some scientists say the long-term impact on marine life from low-dose exposure to such large volumes of water is unknown. It called on Japan to provide more information about the planned water release and said it would step up its own radiological measuring and monitoring.

The government has said it will do the utmost to support local fisheries, and the report said TEPCO would compensate for damages if they occur despite those efforts.

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