IAEA Finds Further Survey on Fukushima Water Release Unnecessary

Japan News file photo
K4 tank group for discharging treated water

Tokyo, April 6 (Jiji Press)—The International Atomic Energy Agency has found it unnecessary to conduct an additional survey on the planned release into the ocean of tritium-containing treated water from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

“No further missions to TEPCO and METI (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) are needed prior to the issuance of the IAEA’s comprehensive report,” said a report compiled by an IAEA team that visited Japan in November last year to check the safety of the water release plan.

The IAEA is set to draw up its final report on the issue by the end of June, based in part on its inspection of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority.

During the Japan visit, the IAEA team, including an expert from China, which has expressed concerns over the water release, as well as IAEA officials, conducted an on-site inspection at the TEPCO plant in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima, where the triple reactor meltdown occurred in 2011. The team also exchanged views with TEPCO officials.

It was the second time that the IAEA sent such a mission to Japan, following the first in February last year.

The latest report said that “significant progress was made by TEPCO” between the first and second missions, based on IAEA instructions.

It also said that the standards for monitoring radioactive materials in treated water, which are being screened by the NRA, are “sufficiently conservative yet realistic.”

TEPCO has explained that its tanks for storing treated water will reach full capacity by around summer or autumn this year.

The Japanese government aims to start releasing the treated water between spring and summer.