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S. Korean experts to examine water dilution, discharge facilities on 2nd day of Fukushima nuclear plant inspection

By Yonhap

Published : May 24, 2023 - 11:17

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Storage tanks for treated contaminated water are seen at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture. (AP-Yonhap) Storage tanks for treated contaminated water are seen at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture. (AP-Yonhap)

TOKYO -- A South Korean team of experts visiting the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant will inspect facilities for dilution and discharge of radioactive water on Wednesday amid concerns over Tokyo's plan to release tons of contaminated water into the sea this summer.

The 21-member team, headed by Nuclear Safety and Security Commission Chairperson Yoo Guk-hee, is currently on a six-day visit to Japan to assess whether the treated water is safe enough to be discharged into the sea.

On Tuesday, the experts began a two-day inspection of the Fukushima nuclear plant and examined the plant's custom purification system, known as ALPS, and facilities related to the K4 tanks, which are designed to store and conduct measurements of radioactive substances.

The team plans to visit a nuclides analysis facility and examine the seawater dilution system and discharge facilities later in the day.

It will also be briefed by Japanese officials about the "concentration levels (of radiation) before and after ALPS treatment," Yoo told reporters earlier.

In March 2011, a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami damaged the Fukushima plant's cooling systems, resulting in the release of a large amount of radiation.

The plant currently stores over 1.3 million tons of water treated by ALPS. The water discharge is set to begin this summer and will take decades to complete, in what Japanese officials view as an unavoidable step in the decommissioning process. (Yonhap)