Kerry says Japan’s cooperation with IAEA important for Fukushima

Seoul, Apr 18 (EFE).- The United States Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, said Sunday that Japan’s continued cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was key to ensuring that the safe release of contaminated water at Fukushima nuclear plant.

Kerry arrived in Seoul after a four-day visit to Shanghai, where he met his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, and discussed cooperation on the climate issue ahead of the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate to be hosted by US President Joe Biden this week.

Kerry, addressing reporters in Seoul, said the US was “confident that the government of Japan has had full consultation with IAEA, that IAEA has set up a very rigorous process” for the controlled release of the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean as announced by Tokyo last week.

What is key is Japan’s continued coordination with IAEA as it monitors the process,” he added.

Kerry’s visit to Seoul comes after the South Korean government strongly protested Japan’s decision to release the water from the disaster-affected plant.

South Korea also warned that it was studying the possibility of bringing the case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

The special envoy also said that it was not appropriate for the US to intervene in the process but stressed on the need to ensure transparency, as sought by Seoul.

The release of water from the nuclear plant, which was hit by a en earthquake and a tsunami in 2011, was announced Tuesday by Tokyo as an indispensable step in the process of its dismantling.

Although the decision was welcomed by the IAEA, it has sparked concerns both inside and outside Japan.

The contaminated water will be processed to remove all radioactive isotopes except tritium and diluted before its release.

According to the Japanese authorities, the process, which will start around 2023 and take a decade to complete, will be so safe that it would even meet the World Health Organization’s drinking water standards.

China and South Korea have been the most vocal critics of the move, claiming it poses a risk to human health and the environment.


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