24 August 2023

The Japanese Government has announced the release of treated water from the decommissioned Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean will commence today, 24 August 2023, weather conditions permitting. 

Over the past two years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has conducted a detailed review of the safety related aspects of handling and discharge of the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) treated water, resulting in a comprehensive report released in July 2023.

The report concluded that the approach to the discharge of treated water and associated activities by TEPCO and the Japanese Government is ‘…consistent with relevant international safety standards and would have a negligible radiological impact on people and the environment.’

‘ARPANSA is fully confident in the IAEA’s findings, which are based on the work of international and independent scientific experts. The report has highlighted that no health or environmental risks will occur if the discharges are kept within strict, international limits,’ said ARPANSA CEO Dr Gillian Hirth.

‘As a Pacific nation, we are committed to ensuring that Australia’s oceans and marine life are kept safe. ARPANSA’s scientists are confident that any exposure to marine life – such as fish – will be below the screening level used to ensure protection of the environment,’ said Dr Hirth.

The IAEA’s Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that the release process will be closely monitored and assessed by onsite IAEA staff to ensure adherence to international safety standards.

Dr Hirth also emphasised that there is no need for people in any location to take protective measures in relation to the release of the treated water, or limit intake of marine-sourced food items.

‘We want to reassure the public that there are no associated health risks to people or the environment in Japan or surrounding countries from this activity.’

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