S. Korean gov't to unveil results of own analysis of Fukushima release plan Friday

Photo: Yonhap
SEOUL. KAZINFORM - The government will announce its own analysis of Japan's plan to discharge contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant later this week, an official said Thursday, Kazinform cites Yonhap.

The outcome of a scientific analysis of the discharge plan, based on the findings of an on-site inspection of the plant completed in late May and other related data, will be revealed at a daily briefing Friday, according to Park Ku-yeon, the first deputy chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that its two-year review found Japan's plan to release water from the plant into the sea to be consistent with its safety standards. The nuclear watchdog also said the treated water would have a negligible radiological impact on both people and the environment.

«We have been independently conducting a review on Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s release plan of contaminated water,» Park said. The company operates the plant.

Park also said that Friday's briefing would serve as an opportunity to present the Seoul government's position on the discharge plan.

Those attending the briefing include Nuclear Safety and Security Commission Chairperson Yoo Geun-hee, who headed the 21-member inspection team, as well as other vice ministers.

«It will include assessment on IAEA's comprehensive report,» said Shin Jae-sik, a senior official of the commission, adding that it will also include a proposal to Tokyo. «In addition, a comprehensive conclusion and suggestions to Japan will also be included.»

The announcement also coincides with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi's three-day visit to South Korea, starting Friday, following his ongoing four-day trip to Japan.

In response to heightened public concern, Seoul launched a daily press briefing last month to keep the public updated on the planned release of contaminated water from the plant, which was severely damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

After the IAEA report was released, the government said it respects the findings.

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP), which has argued the release will have bad health and environmental consequences, questioned the credibility of this week's IAEA report, saying the report looks like something ordered by Japan.

All 167 DP lawmakers were to launch an overnight sit-in at the National Assembly later Thursday to protest Japan's release plan and denounce the South Korean government's response to it.

Officials and experts have said that as long as the water treatment and release plan goes ahead as planned, it will not have any harmful effects because the released water would be massively diluted in ocean waters and sea currents would carry it away before reaching South Korean shores years later.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) has accused the DP of inciting fears among the people with unscientific claims in an attempt to take advantage of the issue for political gains ahead of next year's general elections.

The PPP has also vowed to ban seafood imports from Fukushima until people are no longer concerned.

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