Briefing Session to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Experts on the Current Status of Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) Treated Water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
June 7, 2023
On June 1, 2023, a briefing session to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat was organized on the current status of ALPS treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS). Officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), and staff from TEPCO, on the Japanese side; PIF experts and secretariat, on the PIF side attended the session.
1. Four briefing sessions have been conducted since 2022 with the PIF Secretariat and its experts on the current status of ALPS treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. In addition, based on the meeting between Prime Minister Kishida and the delegation of the PIF on February 7th in which both sides concurred in the importance of an intensive dialogue on the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, and the 2023 PIF Special Leaders Retreat in February 23rd in which PIF leaders expressed its support for intensifying political and scientific dialogue with Japan on this matter, one dialogue at experts level has been held.
2. In the meeting, the Japanese side provided scientifically based explanations of the planned discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, focusing in particular on the following items, based on the interests of the PIF side in the discussions at the previous briefing sessions.
ⅰ) IAEA safety standards
PIF experts asked questions concerning justification and optimization regarding the general principles of radiation protection in IAEA safety standards. The Japanese side explained that they have chosen to discharge into the sea and are proceeding the procedures towards the discharge into the sea after considering from both point of view.
ⅱ) Alternative ways of disposal
- The PIF experts proposed a plan to use ALPS treated water in making concrete. The Japanese side explained that the disposal measure of ALPS treated water has been reviewed by experts in the past and responded that the heat generated during concrete mixture evaporates tritium contained in ALPS treated water into the air, that concrete which contains ALPS treated water is classified as radioactive waste under domestic law, and that the mass of ALPS treated water that is currently stored is enormous and will be greater after its dilution and etc. With regard to above, Japan has responded that the suggested proposal is difficult due to technical and legal aspects.
ⅲ) Measurement of Radionuclides Before Discharge- The Japanese side explained that the analytical method for each nuclide which to be analyzed before discharge and that IAEA published the report evaluating that TEPCO has demonstrated a high-level accuracy in their measurements and technical competence.
3. Japan and PIF Secretariat and its experts concurred the importance of this dialogue and its continuation of the intensive dialogues. Japan will continue to provide the Pacific Islands countries and regions with explanations based on scientific evidence in a highly transparent and sincere manner, while continuing to undergo the reviews by the IAEA.
ALPS treated water is water which is processed by devices such as ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) to ensure that the radioactive materials other than tritium surely meet the regulatory standards for safety. In addition, it is planned that ALPS treated water will then be sufficiently diluted before the discharges so that the concentrations of the radioactive materials including tritium will be far below the regulatory standards for safety
Division in Charge
Nuclear Accident Response Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy