IAEA chief says ‘absolutely logical’ that Japan’s Fukushima water release is attracting interest


SEOUL (Reuters) – It is “absolutely logical” that Japan’s plan to release treated radioactive water from its Fukushima nuclear plant is attracting great interest in the region, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said on Sunday.

Grossi also said he understands concerns remain over the plan but added that a review by the IAEA released last week found it was “in conformity with international safety standards” if executed according to plan.

Grossi met with South Korea’s political opposition party members on Sunday who expressed strong public concerns over Japan’s plan and criticized the IAEA’s findings.

Grossi was met with angry protests by civic groups as he arrived in South Korea on Friday from Japan and drew street rallies on Saturday criticizing the plan.

South Korea’s government has said it respected the IAEA’s report and that its own analysis had found the release will not have “any meaningful impact” on its waters.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday criticised the move towards discharging the water and threatened action if the plan should move ahead.

(Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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