Japan’s chosen water disposal method is both technically feasible and in line with international practice, IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.
Controlled water discharges into the sea are routinely used by operating nuclear power plants in the world and in the region under specific regulatory authorisations based on safety and environmental impact assessments.
“The Japanese Government’s decision is in line with practice globally, even though the large amount of water at the Fukushima plant makes it a unique and complex case.”
Grossi welcomed Japan’s announcement that it has decided how to dispose of treated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and he said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stands ready to provide technical support in monitoring and reviewing the plan’s safe and transparent implementation.
Nuclear safety is a national responsibility issue
Japan has requested the IAEA’s cooperation in the disposal of the water by the IAEA dispatching international expert missions to review the country’s plans and activities against IAEA safety standards and supporting and being present at environmental monitoring operations there.
“Nuclear safety is a national responsibility and it was for the Government of Japan to decide how to address the critical issue of water management. I’m confident that the Government will continue to interact with all parties in a transparent and open way as it works to implement today’s decision,” Director General Grossi said.
IAEA’s standards, the worldwide reference for protecting humans and environment
Since Director General Grossi took office in December 2019, he has offered IAEA support related to the Fukushima water issue in meetings with senior Japanese officials, including then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an official visit to the country in February 2020. Last month, he held a virtual meeting with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshi Kajiyama.
The IAEA’s safety reviews, and other technical support, are based on its safety standards, which constitute the worldwide reference for protecting the public and the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation.