South Korean experts leave for Japan to inspect nuclear power plant

A group of South Korean experts arrived in Japan on Sunday for a landmark on-site inspection ahead of the planned release of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, multiple local media outlets reported.

The inspection - the first independent one by South Korean experts - was approved in a summit between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Seoul earlier this month, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

The two leaders also met in Hiroshima earlier in the day, their third meeting in two months, following a thaw in otherwise strained bilateral relations.

In March 2011, a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami damaged the Fukushima plant's cooling systems, resulting in the release of a large amount of radiation.

Nuclear Safety and Security Commission Chairperson Yoo Guk-hee said easing the safety concerns of the South Korean public was part of the job for the 21-member team that he leads.

"If we take a scientific approach to explain what we saw and what we need to confirm further, then I think people will have more trust in us," Yoo told reporters before leaving for Japan on a six-day visit.

The plant currently stores over 1.3 million tons of water treated by the plant's advanced liquid processing system (ALPS).

The water release is set to begin between spring and summer, and will take decades to complete, in what Japanese officials claim is an unavoidable step in the decommissioning process, Yonhap reported.

Source: Anadolu Agency