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S. Korea seeks international cooperation to deal with radioactive Fukushima water Updated: 2019-09-05 16:54:11 KST

South Korea is seeking international cooperation on the issue of handling radioactive water from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The country's science ministry on Thursday said it's sent a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, citing concerns of damage to the global environment and people's health.

"There is a growing need to work together on this matter, and the government has taken steps to create an international cooperation system. Our letter calls for efforts from the IAEA to make sure people are safe from the radioactive waste."

This comes after Japan said that it could discharge radioactive water from the power plant -- which was devastated by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in March 2011 -- into the Pacific Ocean.
Seoul plans to raise the issue at the IAEA's general conference later this month, as well as highlight to other countries the importance of working together on the matter.

It's been more than eight years since the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown, but Japan has yet to decide how to handle the contaminated water, saying it's still considering options.
In addition to releasing the water into the ocean, other strategies on the table include evaporation, deep underground injection, as well as adding more space to store it.

At a briefing hosted by Tokyo's foreign ministry to discuss the issue on Wednesday, Japan tried to reassure diplomats from 22 countries, including South Korea and the U.S., about the safety of the nuclear plant, adding that it will continue to provide the international community with related information.

With Japan expected to run out of storage space for the wastewater within three years, it's raised questions as to what would happen next.
A government panel of experts are mulling ways to solve the issue, with Tokyo expected to make a final decision based on their report.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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