The concentration of tritium in seawater following the release of contaminated water from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant was well below the standard limit, an official said Monday.
A total of 246 billion becquerels of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that can still be detected after treatment through a custom purification system known as ALPS, were released from Thursday to Sunday, according to Park Ku-yeon, the first deputy chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, has been monitoring the concentration of tritium in the nearby seawater to assess its potential impact on the ocean since the release began Thursday.
"The concentration within 3 kilometers of the nuclear plant was far below the standard limit," Park said during a daily briefing.
The concentration of tritium measured where seawater and treated water came out of K4 tanks combined was also below its limit, according to Park. These tanks store water that is treated through ALPS.
Tritium, which occurs naturally but can also be produced as a byproduct of nuclear reactors, is considered unstable and radioactive. It is known to increase the risk of cancer if consumed in extremely large quantities.
Park also noted that radiation levels conducted by TEPCO were within permissible limits, indicating that the seawater is being properly diluted.
He mentioned that three South Korean officials have departed for Japan to visit an International Atomic Energy Agency field office located in Fukushima.
The visit is part of follow-up measures after President Yoon Suk Yeol asked Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to include South Korean experts in monitoring the Fukushima water release.
Source: Yonhap News Agency