We note the announcement today by the government of Japan regarding its Basic Policy on handling the treated water currently stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. This water has been accumulating since the accident in 2011 as part of the effort to assure that the nuclear core materials in the damaged reactor facilities are adequately cooled. Addressing the disposition of this water is a very important step towards the decommissioning of the site.
According to today’s announcement this stored water, which had previously been treated to remove most radiological materials, will be treated further as necessary and sufficiently diluted to meet regulatory standards for its safe and responsible release. The choice of this technical option reflects a broad scientific consensus, as Japan’s independent nuclear safety authority, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), and other bodies in the international scientific community have noted on numerous occasions.
When such decisions are made on a scientific and technical basis, with a primary regard for safety, they become part of the global body of experience and knowledge.The NEA looks forward to working with our colleagues in Japan and around the world to share valuable lessons from these activities. Among these lessons will be the development and conduct of ongoing dialogue with stakeholders at every stage of the decision-making process. Such dialogue will be particularly important as the impact of the implementation of the decision is assessed over time, alongside the very important need to resolve any remaining reputational questions related to food quality. The NEA stands ready to provide support to deal with these matters.
NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV