IAEA head stresses ‘complete transparency’ in Fukushima wastewater discharge



The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog stressed the importance of “complete transparency” about the discharge of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific during a visit to Japan.

In an interview with state-run NHK on Tuesday, Rafael Mariano Grossi noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) independently monitors the safety of wastewater and reiterated that the Japanese government and operating companies are discharging radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean Starting in August 2023, it will comply with international safety standards.

When talking about the attitude towards countries such as China that oppose the discharge of wastewater or express concerns about the situation, Grossi emphasized that “dialogue that can alleviate concerns” is ongoing and that he “gets the impression that these countries are taking action.” Gradually understand the situation. “

Highlighting the “misinformation and confusion” surrounding wastewater discharges, Grossi said “complete transparency” was the only “antidote” in the process, adding that the agency would share scientific data with countries to “enhance understand”.

During a meeting with Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi Yoshimasa during his trip to Tokyo, Grossi agreed to continue bilateral cooperation on radioactive wastewater assessment.

Yoshimasa noted that they “believe it is important for the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor wastewater discharges” and that Japan is “willing to continue to cooperate closely with the international organization until the last drop is discharged.”

A delegation led by Grossi is scheduled to visit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant this week for an on-site inspection.

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According to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the fourth phase of treated wastewater discharge began last month, with the first phase completed from August 24 to September 11, and the second phase from October 5 to It was completed on the 23rd and the third phase was completed. November 2-20 last year.

According to the fourth-level wastewater discharge process, by the end of this month, the total amount of wastewater from nuclear power plants will reach 31,200 tons.

TEPCO began discharging radioactive wastewater from the power plant in August 2023. Wastewater is discharged 1 km (0.6 mi) from the coast through an undersea tunnel.

Radioactive materials (other than tritium) formed in the pure water used to cool power plant reactors are broken down by advanced liquid handling systems.

The International Atomic Energy Agency announced in its final report in July 2023 that Japan’s wastewater discharge plan complied with safety standards.

After the 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, nuclear meltdowns caused by nuclear power plant reactors were released into the air, and the area around the nuclear power plant was designated as an evacuation zone.



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By Ali Raza

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