South Korean shoppers buy up salt before Japan's Fukushima water dump

By Hyun Young Yi

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Japan has given repeated assurances that the water is safe,

They say Fukushima power plant also safe, see what happened in 2011.

"I recently bought 5 kilograms of salt," Lee Young-min, a 38-year-old mother of two children, said as she made seaweed soup in her kitchen in Seongnam, just south of the South Korean capital, Seoul.

They need more than that, like lifetime supply in order to avoid contaminated salt.

-11 ( +13 / -24 )

Not going to last long with that stockpile. Embrace the nuke water

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Japan says it has provided detailed and science-backed explanations of its plan to neighbors


And that is justification for dumping radioactive materials into the ocean?

Nice one Japan

-23 ( +10 / -33 )

TEPCO doesn't care and so is the LDP.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

She said she had never bought so much salt before but felt she had to do what she could to protect her family.

I find if I have loads of stuff I tend to consume more of it over a period of time.

Excess salt in diets can be just as deadly as what she is trying to avoid.

26 ( +28 / -2 )

We the people demand that this reckless act of destruction of our Ocean be HAULTED, and those who approve of this INJUSTICE be prosecuted in the international court of JUSTCE.

-24 ( +4 / -28 )

Just panic due to the media

19 ( +27 / -8 )

Exposure to nuclear isotopes has long been associated with decreased fertility and sterility. This also applies to marine life. If it does effect the breading cycle of marine life it could destroy the ocean ecosystem and turn the east coast of Japan into an undersea dessert. Let’s hope I am wrong.

-22 ( +3 / -25 )

Ridiculous anti-Japan hysteria fueled by South Korean government propaganda.

23 ( +32 / -9 )

Do the hustleToday  07:01 am JST

Exposure to nuclear isotopes has long been associated with decreased fertility and sterility. This also applies to marine life. If it does effect the breading cycle of marine life it could destroy the ocean ecosystem and turn the east coast of Japan into an undersea dessert. Let’s hope I am wrong.[sic]

This might be the silliest thing I've read in awhile.

Destroy the ocean ecosystem? An undersea dessert? A parfait?

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Ridiculous over reaction.

19 ( +27 / -8 )

South Korean shoppers are very gullible to believe the lies they have been told.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

I'm off to stock up on enough salt to last me and my family and friends for 50 years. That's gonna be a lot of salt but it has to be done.

It's everyone for themselves now. Good luck my fellow human beings.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )


Ridiculous anti-Japan hysteria fueled by South Korean government propaganda.

Actually the Yoon administration is acting as the propagandist for Japan's Fukushima waste water discharge.

It's the opposition-controlled parliament that's hyping nuclear poisoning from seafood.

So guess who's winning? Salt prices quadrupled while dining reservations at upscale Omakase sushi restaurants, the places that charge $200~500 per seat, is down by half so they are literally walk-ins now.

Things are looking very bright for the opposition's quest to take 66% of the Parliament seat next year, after which point they plan to invoke impeachment and kick Yoon out of office.

DP passes resolution on Fukushima water discharge

The liberal Democratic Party (DP) adopted a parliamentary resolution Friday calling on the government to file a complaint with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea over Japan's plan to release treated radioactive water from its defunct Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The PPP has criticized the DP's disregard for governmental authority and alleged attempts to undermine its diplomatic efforts with Japan.

-23 ( +6 / -29 )

Overreaction much? If you're that paranoid better start buying the English Maldon Sea asakt.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Stupidity and anti-science knows no bounds.

These fools are at zero risk from the water release- it is safer and cleaner than tap water. Fact.

They are, on the other hand, at incredible risk from the salt. Salt can dehydrate, damage organs and a lot more. Madness to ingest it. Giving salt to kids is despicable and reckless.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

I feel sorry for them to live with such crazy fears. Yes, crazy, nutbar off their rockers crazy.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

As a mother raising two children, I can't just sit back and do nothing. I want to feed them safely.

I take her words at face value. She's not an expert in the environmental effects of nuclear reactor meltdowns (unlike many of the posters here, apparently). She just wants to do the right thing for her kids.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Its the same people that bought all the toilet paper 2 years back.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

after which point they plan to invoke impeachment and kick Yoon out of office.


You've been saying Yoon will be impeached the moment he's back in Korea for a while and yet, both Korean and Japanese national flags fly high together next to each other.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Roy Saph….. - Has this happened before? Because by and large the oceans are still reeling from the nuclear tests of the 1950s and 1960s. In comparison the radioactive waste water discharge that has been happening for half a century, by virtually every nuclear power faciltiy, and in much greater volume than the Fukushima waste water release, 

You are talking about completely different scenarios. The release of the water from Fukushima will continue for another 40-50 years until they decommission the plant resulting in trillions of tons of radioactive water being released over the next half century. This is prolonged exposure has never before been seen. You mentioned the bomb testing in the pacific during the 50’s and 60’s. Those atolls that were vaporized are still no go zones and are still desserts.

The fact is, nobody knows what effect this prolonged exposure will have on the marine life. For this single reason this release should not go ahead. It’s one heck of a gamble that could destroy the marine life of eastern Japan.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

China has also criticized Japan's plan to release the water, accusing it of a lack of transparency... 

LOL. This is the country that won't let the world into the Wuhan Institute of Virology talking.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Nothing short of stupid and fear-mongering.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Immature and regressive behaviour

0 ( +9 / -9 )

If the water being released were only certified by Japanese authorities, I wouldn’t trust it. But this water has been certified by an international team of scientists from First World countries. The overreaction is mainly from people who do not even have a high-school knowledge of chemistry.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

If you are worried about your health, just cut down on salt consumption.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

A thought experiment would be: how would Japanese act if Fukushima had been in Korea and now Korea was wanting to release all this water? Would it not suddenly invoke its nuclear allergy? Or would it be happy to rely on "the science"?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

South Korean are never become our friends but always try to become their cordial friends, but they're always actives in all propaganda against Japan. I guess that how about their rival sibling North Korea is dumping millions times dangerous radioactive waste in their water, why not South Korean are not protest against North Korea? Japanese water is billions times safety than Korean Peninsula's water. We know our sea water is safer than others do. 日本万歳。

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

You want verifiable data? Who can you trust? What ever the expert panel and media says is the truth?

My gut feeling says its not safe. I don't easily trust like many do. I'm more skeptical.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Expert (noun) - a person who is very knowledgeable about a particular area.

Gut feeling (noun) - a feeling or reaction based on an instinctive emotional response rather than considered thought.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I don't care about that definition of your Expert doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand. However, Experts will be forced to lie especially as Tepco desprately wants to dump there mess into the ocean. They will probably lie at all cost is the point I'm trying to make here. Enough said. Enjoy the Rain guys what nice weekend aye?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

While the salt-hoarding may indeed be due to exaggerated fear and panic, concerns about the general safety of the release of radioactive water into the ocean is quite legitimate.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Do the hustleToday  08:27 am JST

This is prolonged exposure has never before been seen.


Reactors around the world (including in S. Korea) have been releasing more and higher concentration every year, for 30+ years, than the total to be released from Fukushima over two decades.

Is there some part of that you do not understand?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Keep feeding your children lots of salt Mrs Lee, it's good for them, everyone knows that.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Rumors spread by the salt owners.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Luckily I buy my salt from Okinawa or the Himalayas. After the releases, anyone who buys this salt is poisoning themselves and their families.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

The weird response of the Japanese government on the accident is the ultimate cause. Japan already released 8-16 peta becquerel of cesium-137 during the first 3 months after the accident in 2011, which is greater by a factor 15,000-30,000 than the amount contained in the 1.3 million tonnes of water to be released this summer (534 billion becquerel). Japan should have quietly dumped the 'tiny' amount of contaminated water when they dumped the contaminated water force majeure after 2011.

The planned release of the water treated by ALPS is just an international show by which the Japanese government wants to advertise that Japan is always a country abiding by the international law and treaty. Owing to the propaganda of the Japanese government, most people both in Japan and Korea do not grasp that Japan had already released more than 99.999% of radioactive materials from the Fukushima accident in 2011, and just concern about the tiny 0.001% which is stored in the tanks.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Japan has other option but LDP government and TEPCO just chose contaminating the ocean as cheapest option.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Isn’t that cute?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"But fishermen and shoppers in Japan and across the region are afraid."

As they should be. But, no sympathy. They voted in the people doing this. I hope that ZERO Japanese marine products are bought from now on as a result of this, and when it comes up that it has in fact caused massive environmental damage the Japanese government is sued by every nation across the planet in the trillions per case.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Roton IzawaToday  10:08 am JST

South Korean are never become our friends but always try to become their cordial friends, but they're always actives in all propaganda against Japan. I guess that how about their rival sibling North Korea is dumping millions times dangerous radioactive waste in their water, why not South Korean are not protest against North Korea? Japanese water is billions times safety than Korean Peninsula's water. We know our sea water is safer than others do. 日本万歳。

Millions of Japanese also don't trust and oppose the dumping of radioactive water. Are they anti-Japanese?

TEPCO, a Japanese company, was responsible for the disaster at Fukushima not the tsunami. This was supported by an independent Japanese study. A Japanese company put their country and the region into danger through negligence and arrogance. In fact, they had a long history of negligence and not following nuclear regulations before the incident at Fukushima. Yet some people still trust them.

People are free to react the way they want and buy salt regardless if some 'think' they know better.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Rumors spread by the salt owners.

Bingo, classic FUDruckus to push that 27% increase in cost.

*Fear**uncertainty and doubt (often shortened to FUD) is a propaganda tactic used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics, polling and cults.*

4 ( +5 / -1 )

more than 1 million metric tons of treated radioactive water

into 710,000,000,000,000,000,000 litres. ( 710 quintillion litres )

do the maths.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Roy Sophveason - Except we know exactly what Fukushima's waste water release will do and the effect it will have: virtually none.

If this is so, why are there just as many scientists against the release as there are supporting it?

It is estimated to add around 0.00005% in tritium radioactivity to the sea, every year

You seem to be ignoring that they always ‘most isotopes’ when they state what has been removed. You also seem to be ignoring the report released by TEPCO three years ago stating that a lot of the water contains more than just tritium due to poor filtering techniques in the early days of storage. Anybody who believes the J-Gov and the media reports telling people this is perfectly safe is very foolish.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

IAEA Review of Safety Related Aspects of Handling ALPS-Treated Water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The laboratories participating in this ILC were:

• Spiez Laboratory (LS – Labor Spiez), Switzerland

• Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), France

• Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), United States of America

• Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), Republic of Korea

The key findings of this ILC are:

• TEPCO has demonstrated a high level of accuracy in their measurements and technical


• TEPCO's sample collection procedures follow the appropriate methodological standards

required to obtain representative samples.

• The selected analytical methods utilized by TEPCO for different radionuclides were

appropriate and fit for purpose.

• Neither the IAEA, nor the participating third-party laboratories, detected any additional

radionuclides (i.e., radionuclides beyond what is included in the source term) at significant


7 ( +9 / -2 )

Let us list the facts.

France (La Hague) reprocessing facility: 11,460 trillion becquerels (521 times that of Fukushima)

Canada (Darlington) nuclear power plant: 430 trillion becquerels (19.5 times that of Fukushima)

UK (Sellafield) reprocessing facility: 479 trillion becquerels (21.8 times that of Fukushima)

China (Taishan III) nuclear power plant: 238 trillion becquerels (11 times that of Fukushima)

South Korea (Wolseong) nuclear power plant: 141 trillion becquerels (6.4 times that of Fukushima)

Each country releases more than Fukushima in terms of annual release alone.

If the seawater that circumnavigates the Pacific Ocean and reaches South Korea is dangerous, the IAEA should be able to present scientific grounds and refute it. This is because it is not the idea of Japan or TEPCO.

As usual, Koreans are the only ones who turn a blind eye to China and their own nuclear power plants, which have a direct impact, and complain only about Japan.

It is 120% certain that Japan's Fukushima will be blamed for the negative effects of nuclear power plants in China and its own countries in a few years.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Eating less salt is better for my blood pressure anyways.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

originally posted by albaleo

IAEA Report

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There should be no problem with the water in its diluted form. The problems, if any, will come from entering the food chain, which dies naturally, then sinks to the bottom, and consumed into the food chain again, in a cycle. That's how toxins can become concentrated. It id possible to monitor that by random sampling in various nearby areas, especially bottom dwellers such as hirame and anko.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Wouldn't buying iodine make more sense?

1 ( +2 / -1 )


If the tritium treatment method in each country is different from that in Japan, could you explain in detail how it differs?

In Japan, contaminated water is purified using several facilities to reduce the risk. Contaminated water is first passed through a cesium adsorption device, "Kurion" or "Sally", which removes "cesium" and "strontium" among radioactive substances.

After that, it goes through the desalination equipment and is purified using the multi-nuclide removal equipment ALPS. ALPS is a facility that can remove 62 types of radioactive substances contained in contaminated water. The water purified by ALPS is called "ALPS treated water".

However, ALPS cannot remove a radioactive substance called "tritium".

The treatment method proposed by the IAEA to Japan is to mix this with seawater and release it into the ocean over a period of 30 to 40 years. (Annual tritium emissions are about 22 trillion becquerels)

For the Kori Nuclear Power Plant and Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant accidents, you can also look at the Korean Wikipedia. It is also in the news in each Korean news agency. .

As far as I can see in the Korean news, the reaction of Koreans is equal to or more than the mad cow disease. It seems that half a century ago the Japanese people were rushing to toilet paper due to the oil shock. But I've never seen the news that the Japanese rushed to the water.

Even in the 311 Tohoku earthquake, Japanese people kept order and acted calmly, forming lines. Even if scientific evidence is shown, wouldn't the Japanese get angry if they are treated in the same way as the Koreans who are emotionally opposed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )


The thing Koreans are emotionally opposed to is, of course, the dumping of Japanese treated water into the Pacific Ocean, which is the topic of this article.

The IAEA and other investigative organizations in various countries inspected the treated water, and found no particular problems.

Despite this, the Korean people are being manipulated by opposition party propaganda and media manipulation. Same with mad cow disease. I am sick of.

It is emotional and shows that neither what Japan says nor the investigations of other countries, including the IAEA, can be trusted.

Toilet paper seems to have become a hot topic recently, but it never actually sold out. This is evidence that the majority of people did not take action like half a century ago, although rumors spread on social media and became news.

However, salt is not available in Korea now. Because there is no salt in the sales floor of the local supermarket. I can't buy it either. Moreover, they are resold online.

Don't you think it proves that Japanese and Koreans are more gullible?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Don't you think it proves that Japanese and Koreans are more gullible?

Absolutely not.

There are plenty of gullible and misinformed people everywhere. The Internet gave people the opportunity to learn, but also provided a vehicle to mislead. Studies show that 18-24 year olds today are unable to tell the difference between biased and unbiased information and truth versus fiction.

And then there is simple stupidity. In the days before the Internet, we didn't run across very many stupid people every day, so we thought most people were fairly intelligent. Now, we're inundated with them every day on the internet. Everyone has an Internet connection. Who knew there were so many of them?

Search for any topic, something like how to do something with a software product. Fully half of what you read is completely false and has always been false.

Now, YouTube is filled with automatically generated content that is false, biased, created just for clicks. Some of it is staggering. Millions of views to videos claiming aliens have just contacted earth this week, and they speak English. Then read the hundreds of comments.

The world is infested with wingnuts and idiots, but we didn't know it was this bad.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hate to be "that guy" but I'm guessing she didn't do too well in geography. Fukushima is on the east of Japan. Busan is also on the east of Korea, but west of Japan. The currents around Fukushima don't flow directly to Busan. Unless she knows something like most sea salt comes from this particular area off Fukushima maybe she has a point. If it doesn't, then she needs to realize from the time they were popping nukes of Bikini Atoll a whole lot of "stuff" has been put in the oceans well before any water from Fukushima.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mixed feelings.

I agree with the majority of commenters stating that the Korean consumer response to this is overblown and a bit hysterical. It appears that the various inspectors and regulators have certainly reviewed this process thoroughly, and that the necessary steps to release the water safely have been taken.

However, I doubt if it were the United States or China doing this, the responses would be equivalent. You would hear massive outcry from opportunists jumping on temporary environmentalist bandwagons.

Take for example the domestic activism against the new US military base in Okinawa. Japan certainly benefits massively from US presence in the pacific, and as tensions with China grow over time, a firm strategy against their expansion is inevitable. Yet here they are crying about a strip of coral reefs, even when the evidence for their supposed destruction in unsubstantial. Nothing to say of the national security concerns which take precedence over minor environmental impact, if any. It's hypocritical, to say the least.

Japan is no more or less environmentally friendly than most other modern first-world countries. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt on this one, but spare me all the climate change hysteria and SDGs nonsense going forward.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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