South Korean opposition calls to stop Fukushima dump, find alternatives

Tokyo, Jul 12 (EFE).- South Korean opposition politicians and fishermen’s groups Wednesday in Tokyo called on Japan to end the plan to dump treated water from the accident-prone Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“The Japanese government must halt the plan to dump contaminated wastewater from the power plant into the ocean that will kill the sea for all,” Seong Gon-wi, member of the South Korean Democratic Party, said during a Wednesday press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

The opponents said the dump “poses a serious threat to the global oceans” and that, since it is an unprecedented event, will also have a “catastrophic influence,” in addition to violating several international treaties.

They said the dumping would be carried out “in bad faith.” They also criticized that the report presented a week ago by the International Atomic Energy Agency “cannot provide exoneration” for the Japanese government, since the organization “is not responsible for the outcome.”

Despite “proven alternatives,” the Japanese government is “insisting on releasing radioactive water into the ocean” and “about to put the entire mankind in peril just for the sake of money,” said Yoon Jae-kab of the same party, “If the radioactive water is safely treated as the Japanese government insists, why not dispose of the wastewater within Japan?”

The Korean Federation of Advanced Fisheries Leader of South Jeolla, present at the hearing, said it was unhappy about the consequences that the spill could have on the industry and a possible decrease in the consumption of local fish and seafood due to the distrust of the population.

“The fishing industry of Korea will bear huge damage, we asked the Japanese government to postpone the decision to release the contaminated waste water into the sea until the safety is secure and ensured,” said Park Yeon-hwan, a representative of this group, who added that “the ocean is not a dumping ground for nuclear waste.”

The South Korean response comes after the IAEA endorsed on July 4 the Japanese government’s plan to discharge treated water from the Fukushima plant into the sea and said that the measures taken by the country are “consistent with relevant international safety standards.”

Until now, the highly contaminated water generated by the plant is processed in circuits called Advanced Liquid Processing Systems to remove most of the radioactive elements, with the exception of tritium, and returned to storage in drums before being discharged into the sea.

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power, owner of the damaged nuclear power plant, took this decision because of the inability to continue storing the water in tanks installed on the plant’s grounds, due to the lack of physical space. EFE


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