Dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and its experts on the current status of advanced liquid processing system (ALPS) treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power station

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On 01 June, a video conference on ALPS treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) was held with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat and its experts.

Officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), and staff from TEPCO, on the Japanese side; Deputy Secretary General Filimon Manoni, Director Sione Tekiteki Governance and Engagement, PIF Secretariat and experts (Antony M. Hooker, Robert H. Richmond, Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, and Arjun Makhijani) on the PIF side attended the session.

Four briefing sessions have been conducted since 2022 with the PIF Secretariat and its experts on the current status of ALPS treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. In addition, based on the meeting between Prime Minister Kishida and the delegation of the PIF on February 7th in which both sides concurred in the importance of an intensive dialogue on the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, and the 2023 PIF Special Leaders Retreat in February 23rd in which PIF leaders expressed its support for intensifying political and scientific dialogue with Japan on this matter, one dialogue at experts level has been held.

In the meeting, the Japanese side provided scientifically based explanations of the planned discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, focusing in particular on the following items, based on the interests of the PIF side in the discussions at the previous briefing sessions.

(1) IAEA safety standards

PIF experts asked questions concerning justification and optimization regarding the general principles of radiation protection in IAEA safety standards. The Japanese side explained thatthey have chosen to discharge into the sea and are proceeding the procedures towards the discharge into the sea after considering from both point of view.

(2) Alternative ways of disposal

The PIF experts proposed a plan to use ALPS treated water in making concrete.The Japanese side explained that the disposal measure of ALPS treated water has been reviewed by experts in the past and responded that the heat generated during concrete mixture evaporates tritium contained in ALPS treated water into the air, that concrete which contains ALPS treated water is classified as radioactive waste under domestic law, and that the mass of ALPS treated water that is currently stored is enormous and will be greater after its dilution and etc. With regard to above, Japan has responded that the suggested proposal is difficult due to technical and legal aspects.

(3) Measurement of Radionuclides Before Discharge

The Japanese side explained that the analytical method for each nuclide which to be analySed before discharge and that IAEA published the report evaluating that TEPCO has demonstrated a high-level accuracy in their measurements and technical competence.

Japan and PIF Secretariat and its experts concurred the importance of this dialogue and its continuation of the intensive dialogues. Japan will continue to provide the Pacific Islands countries and regions with explanations based on scientific evidence in a highly transparent and sincere manner, while continuing to undergo the reviews by the IAEA.

SOURCE: JAPAN GOVT/PACNEWS