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China, South Korea wary of release of Fukushima treated water into sea

China, South Korea wary of release of Fukushima treated water into sea A general view shows the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (rear) seen from Tomioka town in Fukushima prefecture on March 11, 2016, as people gather to remember the victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami disaster which hit northeastern Japan in 2011. Japan is marking on March 11 the fifth anniversary of the 2011 quake and tsunami that claimed some 18,500 lives, flattened coastal communities and set off the worst atomic crisis in a generation. (Agence France -Presse/Jui Press)
News Desk
Beijing, China   ●   Mon, April 12, 2021 2021-04-12 19:35 29 559f5bc8c5224ad06a25184c0a39505b 2 World Fukushima,Japan,nuclear-disaster,China,South-Korea Free

China and South Korea on Monday voiced deep concern over a Japanese plan to release treated radioactive water that has accumulated at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, saying discharging it into the sea would have a negative impact on its neighbors.

The Japanese government is expected to hold a meeting of related ministers as early as Tuesday to formally decide on the release, a major development following over seven years of discussions on how to discharge the water used to cool down melted fuel at the plant.

China said it has conveyed its "serious concern" to Japan, calling on Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government to make a cautious decision to protect the public interest of international society as well as the health and safety of Chinese citizens.

Arguing Tokyo has come under criticism globally over the issue, "Japan cannot 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.

A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman, meanwhile, said Monday that releasing treated water from the Fukushima plant would "directly and indirectly affect the safety of the people and the neighboring environment."

"It would be difficult to accept the release into the sea if the Japanese side makes a decision without sufficient consultation," the spokesman said, adding South Korea will "respond by strengthening cooperation" with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant, which suffered core meltdowns in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, continues to generate massive amounts of radiation-tainted water after it is used to cool melted fuel.

The water is treated using an advanced liquid processing system to remove most contaminants and stored in tanks on the complex premises. The process, however, cannot remove tritium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear reactors.