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The Fukushima disaster is taking a new dimension, as Japan continues to hide important information about its plan of releasing radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean to neighboring countries.

The head of South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday, this ‘cover-up’ behavior was hampering the efforts made by Japan’s neighboring countries to minimize the impacts on their people and environement.

The owner of the Fukushima plant has been storing radioactive water in tanks at the site from the cooling pipes used to keep the fuel cores from melting since the meltdown in 2011. However, it will run out of storage space for the water in 2022.

The most probably consequence is that Japan will start dumping its radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

Fukushima Crisis and Nuclear Safety Concerns

Uhm Jae-sik, chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, told Reuters: “We have been raising Japan’s radioactive water issue to the international community to minimize the impact … but as Japan hasn’t disclosed any specific plan and process we would need more details to run simulations and study.

In addition to the Fukushima crisis, safety concerns about nuclear energy have increased in South Korea following a 2012 scandal over the supply of faulty reactors parts with forged documents, prompting a series of shutdowns of nuclear reactors.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power, operates 25 nuclear reactors, which produce about a third of the country’s total electricity. Of the 25 reactors, 10 are offline for maintenance.

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17 February 2020

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