IAEA says it does not have control over Japan’s decision to release treated nuclear water but to look at safety standards


By Sanjeshni Kumar

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it does not have any control over Japan’s planned release of treated nuclear water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean.

The IAEA Director and Coordinator of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, Gustavo Caruso said the Vienna-based organisation reviewed the water discharge in line with its International Safety Standard.

“Japan requested the agency to apply international standards and to see if it was following the processes in line with IAEA standards,” said Caruso.

“We need some time to demonstrate our conclusion before Japan decides what it wants to do, to release the water or not release it, it is up to them.

“As the eyes of the international community, our review is providing science based transparent credible information and assurance to the neighboring countries and beyond.

“That’s why our work is very relevant – before, during and after the water will release, said Caruso.

IAEA is expected to release a comprehensive report based on all their scientific analysis since 2021.

“We’ve produce some partial reports and we will use them to produce a summary that is easily understandable for everyone.”

Caruso said this report can also be used by PIF member states to come to a decision.

The IAEA official confirmed they are open to discuss the findings of PIF scientists.

“We will be more than happy to talk to the experts of PIF, because our role is to serve you in all these matters that are very sensitive.

“Is the industry very sure that the conclusion is correct, because if not, it can really do some damage to the understanding of the of the topics.

“There are many experts in the world that can produce these kinds of analysis but the IAEA was created to protect the people and environment. It has to be clearly be recognised that we are the side of the people, and not on the other side.

Pacific Islands Forum Acting Secretary General, Dr Filimon Manoni said peoples of the Pacific are asking for transparency and sufficient data and information that the water release is safe.

“The strategy is to do all we can, at the political level, at the technical level, officials level to try and get some bridging across our positions.

“We are pressing on all sides to try and get the resolution of a deferral would be most welcome.

“But we will continue to work with the Government of Japan, TEPCO and their nuclear agency to see what we can do together,” he said.