South Korean fishermen sue Japanese government over Fukushima nuclear plant water

WION Web Team
Seoul, South Korea Published: May 13, 2021, 04:26 PM(IST)

South Korean fishing boats take part in a marine protest, part of nationwide protests to demand Japan withdraw its decision to release contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, at the sea off Incheon, South Korea Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives of Jeju Island and a shipowners' association told a news conference outside the Jeju District Court they were demanding about 10 million won ($8,800) per day from the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings

South Korean fisheries associations filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government at a local court on Thursday, seeking compensation for the planned release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives of Jeju Island and a shipowners' association told a news conference outside the Jeju District Court they were demanding about 10 million won ($8,800) per day from the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings.

Local fishing communities worry that years of work to convince consumers that Fukushima's seafood is safe will be wiped out by the release.

Japan's government said in April it would release more than 1 million tonnes of treated water from the Fukushima site in stages starting in about two years.

Around 1.25 million tonnes of water has accumulated in tanks at the nuclear plant, which was crippled after going into meltdown following a tsunami in 2011.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that disposing of the water was an "inevitable task" in the decades-long process of decommissioning the nuclear plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has endorsed the release, which it says is similar to the disposal of waste water at nuclear plants elsewhere in the world.

Environmental groups like Greenpeace, which opposes nuclear power, say radioactive materials like carbon-14 that remain in the water can "be easily concentrated in the food chain".

They allege accumulated doses over time could damage DNA, and want to see the water stored until technology is developed to improve filtration.

(With inputs from agencies)

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