April 13, the Japanese government held a meeting of relevant cabinet staff and formally decided to discharge nuclear wastewater containing harmful to the marine environment from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The day before, a spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented that the move could have a direct or indirect impact on South Korea’s national security and surrounding environment, which South Korea was deeply concerned.
Japan’s storage tanks for nuclear sewage are expected to reach the storage ceiling by the autumn of 2022. In order not to create obstacles to waste reactor operations, Japan intends to step up its response. The treated water contains tritium, a radioactive material that cannot be removed technically, and will be fully diluted with seawater and then into the sea. It is expected that the review and construction of special equipment will take about two years.
A spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the 12th that South Korea has always asked Japan to disclose relevant information transparently and decide on sewage discharge plans for nuclear power plants in consultation with neighboring countries. If Japan decides to discharge nuclear sewage into the sea without sufficient coordination, this move is unacceptable.
The commentary stressed that South Korea will put the health of its people and the surrounding environmental protection first, continue to strengthen radionuclide detection, pay close attention to Japan’s decision-making process and procedures on sewage discharge, and continue to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international community to respond.
On March 23, Hiroshi Ontoyama, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, held a videoconference with Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The two sides reached an intention to cooperate on the treatment of nuclear contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said that it would provide professional help to Japan based on scientific knowledge. At the same time, it would also release information to the international community to report on the actual situation of the disposal of nuclear contaminated water in Fukushima and environmental monitoring.
According to the report, South Korea has proposed to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Japan that the experts recommended by South Korea be included in the International Atomic Energy Agency Supervision Group, but has not received a clear reply.