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

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

In a statement on the ministry's website, a spokesman said Japan should refrain from initiating the discharge until it has consulted and reached agreement with all stakeholder countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"This approach is extremely irresponsible and will seriously damage worldwide public health and safety and the vital interests of the people of neighbouring countries", the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

Koo Yoon-cheol, head of South Korea's Office for Government Policy Coordination, said that the government will take every necessary measure in line with the principle of keeping its people safe from the contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant. It called on Japan to provide more information about the planned water release and said it would step up its own radiological measuring and monitoring.

China said Japan's plan would be damaging to public health and complained Tokyo had chose to dispose of the nuclear waste water "without regard for domestic and foreign doubts and opposition".

The water is treated using an advanced liquid processing system to remove most contaminants and stored in tanks on the complex premises.

In spite of domestic and foreign doubts and opposition, Japan has not fully consulted with neighboring countries and the global community in making the decision, the spokesperson added.

In a virtual press briefing to local media in March, a Japanese government official said Tokyo can not continue to delay the disposal of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant due to tank storage limits.

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"This approach is extremely irresponsible and will seriously damage global public health and safety", it said.

A government panel earlier endorsed either diluting the treated water and releasing it into the ocean or releasing it as vapour, and the IAEA says either option is acceptable. The government "appears" to have adopted an approach in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards, it added.

"Releasing into the ocean is done elsewhere".

The activist groups are also calling on the South Korean government to take strong countermeasures, including filing a complaint with the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, and increase pressure on Japan in solidarity with international civic organizations.

The ALPS filtration process removes most radioactive elements from the water, but some remains, including tritium.

But lawyers and local plaintiffs who have filed class-action lawsuits for damages against TEPCO and the government demanded the "immediate withdrawal" of the decision.

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