The controlled release of contaminated water from Japan’s compromised Fukushima nuclear power plant has proceeded as planned and without any issues, according to a South Korean official’s statement on Friday.
Tokyo initiated the discharge of the contaminated water a day earlier, a process expected to extend for over thirty years. Despite concerns from neighboring countries about potential health and environmental impacts, the discharge process is underway, as reported by Yonhap News agency.
During a regular update on the Fukushima situation, Park Ku-yeon, the first deputy chief of South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination, assured that the release was currently advancing as originally intended, with no abnormal developments detected thus far.
Park stressed that the government of South Korea is vigilantly overseeing and evaluating the oceanic discharge procedure through a dual communication channel that connects the regulatory and diplomatic bodies of both countries.
In a previous agreement, both sides committed to promptly exchanging information if any irregularities arise at the discharge facilities.
Park underscored, “The government will take all necessary measures to ensure continuous monitoring and prevent any adverse impact on public safety and well-being.”
Over the course of the next thirty years, more than one million metric tonnes of water stored at the nuclear plant will be gradually released.
Following a devastating magnitude-9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima plant experienced core meltdowns that resulted in a level-7 nuclear incident, the most severe rating on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale.
The plant has since accumulated a significant volume of water contaminated with radioactive substances from the cooling of nuclear fuel in the reactor buildings. This water has been stored in around 1,000 storage tanks.
The operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has outlined its plan to discharge 7,800 tonnes of radioactive wastewater in the initial phase of release over the upcoming 17 days.
In the ongoing fiscal year until the following March, a total of 31,200 tonnes, equivalent to the capacity of 30 tanks, are slated for discharge, as detailed by TEPCO.
Before being released through an underwater tunnel located 1 km away from the plant, the radioactive wastewater has undergone appropriate dilution processes.