South Korea Lodges Protest With Japan Over Fukushima Water Release Plan - Reports

South Korea Lodges Protest With Japan Over Fukushima Water Release Plan - Reports

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a protest with the Japanese Embassy in Seoul over Tokyo's plan to discharge radioactive water from the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, citing the ministry

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 26th August, 2021) The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a protest with the Japanese Embassy in Seoul over Tokyo's plan to discharge radioactive water from the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, citing the ministry.

Earlier this week, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), unveiled plans to dig a 0.6-mile offshore tunnel that will be used to dump treated radioactive water farther into the ocean. TEPCO needs the approval from the national nuclear regulator to begin the work.

The South Korean ministry's director general for climate change, energy, environment and scientific affairs, Lee Tong-q, has summoned Makoto Hayashi, a minister at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, to express regrets over the plans.

"Director General Lee stressed the importance of sufficient consultations over the planned disposal of the contaminated water, and of providing information with sincerity, and relayed our citizens' concerns," the ministry was quoted as saying.

Seoul also urged Tokyo to cooperate on the establishment of a bilateral consultative body on the matter, the news agency added.

Tokyo announced plans to release the toxic water into the Pacific Ocean back in April, sparking a strong backlash and concerns from Russia, China, North and South Korea. In addition to neighbors, about 30 Japanese civil organizations, including the national Japan Fisheries Cooperatives, as well as local municipal authorities in the Fukushima prefecture, oppose the release of treated water into the ocean.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, however, backed Japan's initiative, saying it will send experts to monitor the process.