22.6 C
New York
Monday, May 27, 2024

South Korea’s Vigilance: Expanding Seawater Radiation Tests Amid Fukushima Concerns

South Korea’s commitment to ensuring public safety in light of Japan’s planned release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean involves an expansion of emergency seawater radiation testing along its coastline, as stated by the country’s Oceans Minister.

In July, South Korea initiated urgent radiation assessments at a total of 75 coastal locations spanning the eastern, western, and southern regions, including the waters near Jeju Island. This preemptive action preceded Japan’s scheduled release of “treated” radioactive water from the Fukushima plant, which suffered significant damage in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Minister Cho Seung-hwan elaborated, explaining that these selected locations were chosen due to their proximity to the expected path of the released water, primarily dictated by ocean currents. Furthermore, additional coastal spots, particularly in the East Sea, will be incorporated into the testing regimen to enhance safety measures.

Beyond these 75 locations within its territorial waters, South Korea is also conducting radiation testing at 33 points in more remote areas. The country intends to increase the number of testing sites to nearly 250 by the following year. The Minister affirmed that the emergency testing system will remain in place until public concerns are assuaged, and there is a consensus that no further testing is necessary.

Also Read: Ukraine Troops Retake Klishchiivka Village Near Bakhmut: Zelenskiy

Notably, all samples collected thus far have met safety standards, with no radiation detected in domestic seafood or imported marine products, according to Minister Cho. The South Korean government has mobilized officials and experts from various institutions, including the Korea Polar Research Institute, to carry out comprehensive testing. The quick turnaround time for analysis results—only a couple of days, according to a ministry official—ensures timely information for decision-making.

Addressing broader public safety concerns, South Korea has launched a 100-day intensive inspection, commencing in August, to verify the country of origin labeling for imported seafood products. This initiative aims to dispel any doubts about the safety of these products.

As a result of these actions, South Korean imports of Japanese seafood experienced a 34.8 percent decline in August compared to the previous year, amounting to $7.81 million, marking the lowest monthly figure in two years, according to government data. South Korea has maintained its ban on seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima since 2013, in response to radiation concerns stemming from the 2011 nuclear meltdown incident, and has committed to retaining these import restrictions.

Latest Posts

Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.