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S. Korea on lookout for possible impact from radiation leak in Japan

March 13, 2011 - 19:48 By 양승진

South Korea is on the lookout for a possible impact from a radiation leak at a Japanese nuclear power plant, holding an inter-agency meeting Sunday to assess the possibility of radiation reaching the country and discuss countermeasures.

   Radiation has leaked from the damaged plant in Fukushima, 240 kilometers north of Tokyo, after Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan. On Sunday, thousands of people were evacuated from the area amid fears of a meltdown of two nuclear reactors, according to media reports.

   South Korea's state meteorological agency said it sees low chances of radiation spreading across the East Sea to the country because of the westerly wind in high altitudes that keeps blowing from the west toward Japan.

   Officials said the incident is not believed to have any immediate impact on South Korea, considering Japan's response to the accident as well as wind and other atmospheric factors.

   Still, officials said they are watching the situation very closely.

   The government held a meeting of officials from related agencies to discuss the matter. The government kept the meeting in a low profile in consideration of Japan's situation, sources said.

   "We're in a situation where we have to watch the situation very closely as radioactive substances have been detected and the number of those exposed to radiation is on the rise," an official said on the condition of anonymity.

   (Yonhap News)