Radiation levels in South Korea’s waters remain below WHO standards for drinking water following first test since Fukushima release


The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries in Seoul announced on Sunday that the radiation levels in the waters near South Korea remain well below the standards for drinkable water defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). This was the first such test conducted on 15 locations in three areas of South Korea’s territorial waters after Japan began to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean last Thursday.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries revealed the results of the radiation tests, conducted on Friday, on five locations in the southeastern waters, and plans to disclose the rest of the test results on 10 other locations as soon as they are available. According to the results, the concentration levels of cesium-135 and cesium-137 stood at 0.067-0.094 and 0.077-0.098 becquerel per liter, respectively, compared with the WHO’s 10 becquerel per liter for drinking water. The level of tritium, a hydrogen radioisotope, was 6.6-7.1 becquerel per liter.

The government plans to carry out detailed radiation tests on 92 locations and take expedited tests on 108 locations. Sunday’s results are from an expedited analysis. With the release of radioactive water from Fukushima, worries have been growing over the impact of the release on the South Korean fishing industry, leading to a reduction in seafood consumption.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries provided an image of the locations, marked by dots, in South Korea’s territorial waters where radiation tests are being or will be conducted. To address the concerns, the government has implemented a strengthened seafood radiation management system.

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