April 13, 2021
On April 13, 2021, regarding the announcement of the Basic Policy on Handling of ALPS Treated Water, Mr. Shinkawa Tatsuya, Director-General for Nuclear Accident Disaster Reponse, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry held a web-meeting with Dr. Adrian Simper*, International Special Advisor to the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF) of the UK, for the purpose of opinion exchange on the issue.
Director-General Shinkawa Tatsuya from METI held a web-meeting with Dr. Adrian Simper, International Special Advisor to the NDF.
DG Shinkawa expressed his gratitude for the cooperation from the UK so far on the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and also reported the contents of the Basic Policy on the Handling of ALPS Treated Water. Dr. Adrian Simper stated the following.
- Such a decision is made on more than purely technical reasons; social and political factors ultimately determine what is acceptable to Japan and, as such, I cannot pass a view on these aspects of the decision. I know that the continued management of water at Fukushima Daiichi is impeding TEPCO’s ability to make progress with the decommissioning of the site, and in this context I respect and agree with the science behind such a step and see no technical reason that the treated water should not be discharged, provided that consideration is given to appropriate dilution and rate of discharge.
- In the UK, the discharge of all radioactive materials to the environment, including liquid discharge to sea, is well understood and can only be carried out under conditions set and enforced by our independent regulators. All such discharges require specific authorisations to ensure that they remain within safe levels.
- Regarding the offer from the International Atomic Energy Agency to work with the Government of Japan is supporting and monitoring the treated water discharge, I would welcome such a course to provide assurance that the treated water discharge is done in an open and transparent manner.
Both sides agreed to continue to exchange opinions.*Dr. Adrian Simper is the Chief Scientific Officer at the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. He has an independent role as International Special Advisor to NDF.
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Nuclear Accident Response Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy