politics

South Korean protesters call for government action on Fukushima water

60 Comments
By Do Gyun Kim and Jimin Jung

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters 2023.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

60 Comments
Login to comment

Even the Japanese government try to be nice with South Korea government what they need to convince are South Korean people.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/A-new-era-of-Korea-U.S.-Japan-trilateral-cooperation-has-begun

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

There are good reasons why the water has been stored rather than processed, and why a contaminated exclusion zone still exists around the plant today. The water is from the epicenter of the exclusion zone.

-6 ( +17 / -23 )

@sakurasuki, Japan can't get along with South Korea! If this were not about "radioactive" water, it would be about comfort women. The South threw away the agreement when they needed a distraction. South Korea canceled the 1965 agreement.

I do not believe Japan should help South Korea in this civil war. The South would never accept Japanese ground, naval, or air support. I fear South Korea will attack Japan when faced with problems. Nothing like bashing Japan to get votes! Japan is not South Korea's punching bag, so South Korean politicians can get votes!

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

It’s too late embrace the horrors as the water is being released and all the delicious seaweed and wakame kelp and many other seafood will be absorbing radioactive particles

-27 ( +6 / -33 )

Chock full of ignorance...

12 ( +24 / -12 )

So ridiculous as always, these people will immediately flip out the protest signs and gather en masse outside anytime they feel slighted by Japan. What a petty, insecure bunch.

In South Korea, one of the world’s most prominent nuclear energy countries, the nuclear power facilities have been regularly releasing tritium-infused wastewater into the sea near the city of Pusan (Busan), which is famed for its seafood products. Noting that fact, nuclear power experts find Seoul’s opposition “lacks any scientific basis.”

(In 2018, the South Korean Kori nuclear power plants released 50 trilling bq of tritium into their waters)

https://japan-forward.com/china-and-south-korea-too-release-nuclear-plant-wastewater-into-the-oceans/

10 ( +22 / -12 )

All of this might have been fine except that Tepco and the Japanese government suffer from a severe trust deficit on Fukushima. During the 2011 disaster, they repeatedly minimized the risks, withheld crucial information on threats to public safety and even resisted using the term “core meltdown,” even though that is what occurred. Separate investigations by an official Japanese commission

, the I.A.E.A and other entities put much of the blame on poor regulatory oversight and a lack of preparedness despite Japan’s history of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Yet the mistrust remains.

Tepco said for years that its purification system would reduce 62 radionuclides to safe or non-detectable levels and that only traces of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, and two other isotopes would remain. But it emerged in 2018 that 70 percent of the tanks also contained levels of OTHER radioactive substances that were higher than legal limits.

By Azby Brown

Mr. Brown, the lead researcher for the environmental monitoring group Safecast and a longtime Japan resident, wrote from Yokohama.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/22/opinion/japan-fukushima-radioactive-water-dumping.html?unlocked_article_code=ONkA5g98t5pMtFCCt0oaK2mnhBWQ0HOXqBqbJO5conLcvWigMKcOBxv3bj4fMHcbAMlxYxew-YJTo6_cSffKxS4GnkTGuf2ye4ot9-N4zl4RrXczNkpQjKaSEvNGx1ziXLQPZSO8EqfX6NKJedcfIzVErVx8o_0AzK1PHoZGkz4UCIA5TaeavowWBaBPZcDUrlhuilS9cEEoTFpq9t7rqKYyCXfl72PRlVf-3KSx_825Dw-gdKUiSLK9PjHQTypUOJLvyWiIW7vI1CzqP7FBkJQX8oMKtj_4L1qwKACJaJj36k-DWjawyHhkfoIstay0wasb2kIV-vj2rbINoJlDiJDe7LL3tHYpdndC1PFTxsPaDEE&smid=url-share

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Pure anti-Japan hatred and politics on show. Everyone knows it has nothing to do with safety.

If the current SK government had any strength (it doesnt) they'd come down hard on this civil disturbance.

10 ( +23 / -13 )

Can you trust TEPCO to tell the truth?

NO!!

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

YuriOtani

No, South Korea has not canceled the 1965 agreement. The 1965 agreement, formally known as the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, established diplomatic and consular relations between the two countries and settled the issues of property and claims arising from Japan's colonial rule over Korea.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Complete muppets!

Uneducated and stubbornly refuse to check the facts.

This is purely for political purposes led by the leader of the opposition party in Korea. (Lee jae-myung, second man from right, front)

Here is what the experts say:

https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=357781

14 ( +22 / -8 )

It is confusing what is going on.

However, I found this link helpful. Seems like it is possible to remove large doses of tritium from water, but not the low levels remaining in the filtered water, and it seems like it will be at naturally occurring levels. One hopes at least:

https://www.iaea.org/topics/response/fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-accident/fukushima-daiichi-alps-treated-water-discharge/faq#:~:text=When%20water%20comes%20into%20contact,the%20radioactivity%20before%20being%20stored.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan should have saved everyone the trouble and used the water to irrigate the plentiful forest up in the north. Afterall, the water should be safe by now.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

“It's time for South Korea to ban all the imports from Japan.”

I really think they should. And South Korea’s economy will grind to a halt.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

People who were led to believe by media stories that South Korea would go along now upset by the reality

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Larr Flint

It's time for South Korea to ban all the imports from Japan.

That's the official campaign pledge of Korea's Democratic party. Currently the Democratic Party can pass the total Japanese seafood import ban alone, but Yoon won't sign it.

The democratic party's pitch to the voters is that give us 20 more seats to get rid of Yoon and put somebody else who will sign the bill.

@Meiyouwenti

I really think they should. And South Korea’s economy will grind to a halt.

Abe thought the same when he came up with the semiconductor material export control measure in 2019, Abe's advisors assured that Korea would surrender within 6 months. 

Instead, Japan's material suppliers ended up fleeing Japan instead.

@Legrande

People who were led to believe by media stories that South Korea would go along now upset by the reality

Indeed, 85% of Koreans oppose Japan's Fukushima radioactive water release.

Quick polls found the support for the Democratic Party at 55%, Yoon's party at 25% following the release of Fukushima water. That's a 30% margin. This is why Yoon's party elders warn of a total bloodbath for Yoon's party next Spring's election based on the party's internal polling.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Imagine if they knew that fish in their own waters will be swimming in 2,000 times the tritium from their own reactors than the amount to be released from Fukushima over 30 years.

Japan should ban all Korean and Chinese products because they are radioactive and unsafe. You can't even drink the tap water in either country.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Tokio Electric Power's filtering cannot remove Tritium: a Radioactive Isotope Hydrogen ?

So WHY is Tokio Electric Power wasting its precious time trying to filter the poison out of poisoned water?

Radioactivity can last 1,000+ years and can become more active in time! And All Oceans In The World Are Interconnected!

And are there not stupid people in International Nuclear Agency?

And is the Government of Japan which governs people who are among the most intelligent in the world, listening to and, doing what the International Nuclear Agency advises as SAFE?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Can’t see a single young Korean in the photo!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Like the results of the "No Japan" movement and the mad cow disease scare, it will all be forgotten a year from now, because it is mere political agitation.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Japan began dumping the water

Should that not read "Releasing" the water? Makes JT look bias

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party, shameful politically weaponing a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the 18,500 plus lives lost is evidence enough of his parties cynical stop at nothing to cruelly trample over the graves of the families and loved ones to callously sour any future relations and score cheap political points.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

This could all be avoided if the LDP was more clear in their messaging. However, the government can only tapdance around how tritium doesn't present a problem because directly stating that moderate radiation is essentially harmless, or that radiation hormesis (recognized as a healing treatment in Japan) can actually be good for you would hurt their green transformation (GX) economy plans. 

The science bears out this truth. The radiation from a nuclear power plant only results in 1 death in 300 years, magnitudes less damage than from coal in significantly less time. Disposing windmills and solar panels at the end of their lifespan results in far more pollution for Earth than nuclear. A 50-year follow-up study on the Manhattan project workers who were regularly exposed to up to 7000 mSv of radiation showed no elevated cancer or mortality risk. People in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who returned to live there survived to 88, longer than the average lifespan in Japan. The trains were running again 3 days afterwards and the trees grew back fine. Fukushima has less ambient radiation than Tokyo. There is no evidence to support the necessity of LNT or 1 mSv as a safe exposure limit. Tritium doesn't bioaccumulate as the molecules are too large to be uptaken from food or water. 

Plutonium is the same and only presents a danger when inhaled as dust particulates, which can easily be blocked out. Ironically, nuclear fallout is the the only time that wearing a mask is beneficial to your health.

Here is a good study from 2018 explaining in more detail.

Health Impacts of Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation: Current Scientific Debates and Regulatory Issues

https://t.ly/fOY6I

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Please subtract 15% from all South East asian standardized test score and 30% of the media.

The ignorance and lack of transparency of the entire nuclear industry, which is booming in the region, is just appalling. It is beginning to make everyone look bad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@stephen chen. No one industry wide can remove tritium. It is water. It is literally water. This is the case at every nuclear power plant in the world.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I am here in Korea, I said in a previous post lot pee-d off Koreans over here.

Just when things were going well between Japan and Korea. Its a shame.

I knew the blow back in Asia would be severe for Japan on this.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Did they protest when china released a lot more tritium in to the sea?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

And of course, they -the Koreans- forget, they dump waste water into the ocean as well.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@Reginald Bok

It would probably be the same in Japan, if Korea were the ones polluting the ocean so openly and arrogantly.

If it was Korea with a million tons of radioactive waste water, they would have almost certainly chosen the evaporation option using a variation of the nuclear desalination plant technology they are building for the Saudis.

Evaporation is the only way to ensure none of heavy radioactive elements escape into nature.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Samit Basu

@Reginald Bok

>    It would probably be the same in Japan, if Korea were the ones polluting the ocean so openly and arrogantly.

> If it was Korea with a million tons of radioactive waste water, they would have almost certainly chosen the evaporation option using a variation of the nuclear desalination plant technology they are building for the Saudis.

> Evaporation is the only way to ensure none of heavy radioactive elements escape into nature.

How would that work on this massive scale and the amount of Tritium would not be reduced?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

You can always tell an orchestrated "demonstration" by the printed placards they hand out. If they were really protestors, they would write their own!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I've heard tritium is reduced by half in 12, 13 years. All tritium water in Daichi nuclear plant site seem all reduced by half by now. After 30 years all tritium would be almost gone, just regular water. That's why all nuclear power plants all over the world are discharging tritium into river/ocean. It seems IAEA/WHO acknowledge it. Otherwise, they will prohibit discharging tritium water into river/ocean.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You can always tell an orchestrated "demonstration" by the printed placards they hand out. If they were really protestors, they would write their own!

Absolutely Bertie.

The politics of fear, bad will and opportunism on show in all its splendour. Some people just like to stay angry and jump at the chance. These types are the most easily manipulated too. Hope Yoon survives the goons.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I am more interested in the fact we almost always find angry S.Koreans news at the top of the headlines. Currently, other news outlets are more focused on China's all-out import ban, as you all know.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@wallace

How would that work on this massive scale and the amount of Tritium would not be reduced?

The Chines and The Koreans aren't concerned with Tritium at all; what they are concerned with is Plutonium, Cesium, and Strontium.

Anyhow, evaporation is China's officially endorsed solution.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/8120d0069d9f83281456a2632bdeddb1fa666f61

中国が日本に要求「処理水は蒸発させ大気中に放出を」…SNSでツッコミ殺到「自分のとこでやれ」

福島第1原発の処理水をめぐり、中国政府は、海への放出ではなく、蒸発させて大気中に放出する方法を検討すべきだと、日本政府に要求していることがわかった。

@Roy Sophveason

China is using student groups (both foreign and Korean) in Korea to manipulate the public opinion about "contaminated water"

Korea has a free press that's ranked to be freer than the USA. What you claim is simply impossible.

To the contrary, the reason the Koreans are outraged is that there are far more information regarding the true status of post-ALPS "processed" water being reported in Korea than in Japan where the CCP-style heavy handed press control regarding Fukushima waste water is in effect. 

Basically, 70% of "post-ALPS" water tanks are still above the limit for heavy radioactive element, in some case as high as 20,000 times the limit for some element. The ALPS performs inconsistently between each run of a tank quantity and the amount of heavy radioactive element in the water varies greatly between each run.

This information is hidden by Japanese press but is the front headline news in Korea, hence the massive Korean outrage at Japanese plan to release the ALPS processed water.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Samit Basu

so you don't know how the water can be evaporated. The Chinese articles do not say.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And they say the truth will set us free….

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Tell "Yoon" to step down, he is just a puppet!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I don’t have an issue with the protests, but if your gonna pipe off you better bring an alternative solution to the table, otherwise your intended impact falls short

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Protesters say what they fear is a looming disaster from Japan's release of treated radioactive water................... OK, so I would ask anyone of them to name the up and coming disaster. I bet none of them could give a logical and knowledgeable answer.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Look time is supposed to heal, Japan government its people cannot be held responsible for the horror and devastation caused.

The TEPCO plant could never build a structure high enough or complete the necessary sea walls to prevent the hell on earth that was thrust upon Fukushima.

With the benefit of hindsight we can, and I have, pointed the finger to allocate blame.

Political game play is without doubt totally unacceptable.

The waste water is a direct result of a natural disaster attributed to a unprecedented earthquake and tsunami.

3/11 — The Tsunami: The First 3 Days (※冒頭から津波の映像が流れますのでご注意ください。東日本大震災の映像記録番組です。)- NHK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E2Q7kr4L2c

JT it is hideous and painful to view but necessary under the circumstances.

To make political capital out of such pain and suffering is appalling act of gross wickedness

The waste water release must continue under the close supervision of the IAEA.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

South Korea has been a member of the IAEA since 1957. The IAEA is monitoring the release, which is miniscule compared to the release from South Kore's Kori nuclear plant. The South Korean government has recognized the safety of the Fukushima release.

So who are these protesters?

Most are so bent on anti-JP sentiment that the science doesn't matter. They are fueled and used by domestic adversaries of the Yoon administration, North Korea and China.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Perhaps they should dump the water in some desert that is devoid of pretty much all life. Just a couch surfing thought.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If the treated water is not harmful, then release it into the ground or surrounding environment and not into international oceans. In other words, keep it inside Japan. Then other countries will not complain or protest regarding contaminating the oceans.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Why are most of these people wearing half cracked smiles if they are so serious about this protest…?

As long as we can get on tv.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

However, those 1000 plus tanks of wastewater must be released filtered and treated ASAP

If such an earthquake and tsunami was to reoccur the tanks of untreated wastewater will present an unthinkable danger far beyond anything experienced to date.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

South Korea doesn't protest against the current nuclear waste in the oceans which have been dumped till late 80s. O... It is not close enough to south Korea.

South Korea is not protesting against the micro plastics which are found in seafood and can be found as airborne particles.

South Korea is not protesting against the annual smog from China.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Any day there could be another powerful earthquake and tsunami worse than 2011.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Wallace I never realized the reality of Fukushima tragedy as it developed until viewing that video archive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This shows that Koreans are a disappointing people who do not understand ocean currents at all.

If it is harmful, the Pacific Islands, the United States, and Canada will be affected first, and then the treated water from Japan will reach China and South Korea after circling the Pacific Ocean. It's hard to think.

If it contains a large amount of such substances, it must be nuclear power plant wastewater from China or South Korea that has not been treated properly. In the first place, few people think that nuclear power plant wastewater from China or South Korea is safe, except for some South Koreans. The treated water discharged by Japan will continue to be monitored by various scientists, including the IAEA. Compared to that, how free the nuclear power plants in China and South Korea are.

The Chinese do not trust their own government, and the Koreans are only a part of them who believe in their own government. And press freedom in both countries is far inferior to the Japanese mass media, which is the lowest level from the Japanese point of view.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

itsonlyrocknroll

The entire site and the structures of the reactor buildings are very fragile. No.1&2 reactors still have spent fuel in their pools. Another powerful earthquake could just send everything into the ocean. We will not live long enough to see the end.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Koreans always looking for a reason to hate Japan. Nothing new. It’s more of an inferiority complex.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@wallace, Thanks for posting the reminder of those early days.

NHK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E2Q7kr4L2c

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a MESS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites