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Seoul, July 8 – International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi arrived in South Korea on Saturday to explain the analysis of the UN watchdog’s safety review of Japan’s planned release of treated radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Grossi was met by a group of angry protesters at Seoul’s Gimpo airport, Yonhap News Agency reported on Saturday.
Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the airport’s VIP exit, with some of them loudly chanting slogans like “Grossi, go home”, “Oppose marine dumping” and “Leave Korea, Grossi”.
They occasionally clashed physically with the policemen who were positioned in front of the cordoned-off area.
After about two hours since his arrival, he successfully left the airport on Saturday, using another passage that went unnoticed by both the protesters and reporters.
Grossi flew in from Japan following the agency’s conclusion that Japan’s plan to release treated radioactive water from the plant into the sea is consistent with international safety standards.
While in Japan, Grossi delivered the IAEA’s report on Tokyo’s water release plan to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The report was seen as a blessing for Japan’s planned water discharge, expected to begin in August.
It, however, prompted serious concerns in other countries, especially South Korea, where many believe the IAEA may have neglected or failed to verify the potential long-term impact of treated wastewater on people and the environment.
Ahead of his visit , the Seoul government said Japan’s plan to release contaminated water from the Fukushima plant would meet international standards, including those set by the IAEA, if carried out as planned.