The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it will play a “vital role” in monitoring and reviewing Japan’s implementation of its plan to discharge treated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station since 2011.
The planned discharge has raised concern amongst Pacific Islands nations and other neighbours of Japan, most recently at this month’s PALM – a summit of Pacific and Japan’s leaders.
In an agreement signed by the IAEA and Japan, the IAEA will examine key safety elements of Japan’s discharge plan, including:
*The radiological characterisation of the water to be discharged.
*Safety related aspects of the water discharge process.
*The environmental monitoring associated with the discharge.
*The assessment of the radiological environmental impact related to ensuring the protection of people and environment.
*The regulatory control including authorisation, inspection and review and assessment.
The IAEA says Japan intends to start releasing the treated water in about two years’ time, and the entire operation could last for decades.
The IAEA says Japan’s chosen disposal method is both technically feasible and in line with international practice.