General

Gov’t, PPP agree to expand radioactivity testing in ocean amid concern over safety of seafood

The government and the People Power Party (PPP) agreed Sunday to expand the inspection of radioactivity levels in the ocean, in response to heightened public concern over the planned release of contaminated water from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclea…

The government and the People Power Party (PPP) agreed Sunday to expand the inspection of radioactivity levels in the ocean, in response to heightened public concern over the planned release of contaminated water from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The agreement was reached during a policy consultation meeting between the PPP and top government officials. The nuclear power plant, which was severely damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, is scheduled to release the water into the ocean starting this summer.

According to the agreement, the number of testing sites for seawater will be increased from the current 92 places to 200.

Also, the concentration levels of cesium and tritium, a radioisotope of hydrogen, will be tested every other week, compared with the current frequency of once every one to three months.

Both sides also pledged their support for the marine product industry, which has been adversely affected by the reduced consumption of seafood.

"The government and the ruling party will actively respond after reaching a consensus that various allegations circulating recklessly will severely threaten the livelihood of our fishermen," Rep. Yoo Sang-bum, a PPP spokesperson, told reporters following the meeting.

The Seoul government launched a daily press briefing Thursday to keep the public updated on the planned release in response to heightened public concern, as the nuclear power plant began the trial operation of its discharge facility.

Source: Yonhap News Agency