Dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and its Experts on the Current Status of Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) Treated Water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
On April 14, a Video Conference on ALPS treated water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) was held with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat and its experts. Officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and staff from TEPCO, on the Japanese side; Director Sione Tekiteki Governance and Engagement, PIF Secretariat and experts (Mr. Antony M. Hooker, Mr. Robert H. Richmond, Mr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, and Mr. Arjun Makhijani) on the PIF side attended the session.
- 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. Holding the dialogue was concurred in 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.
- 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.
- (1) Safety of the water before discharge
- The Japanese side explained, with specific numerical values, results of the re-evaluation of the radiological environmental impact assessment (REIA) based on a revision of the nuclides to be measured and results were significantly less than the dose limits, dose targets, and the values specified by international organizations for each species.
- (2) Safety of organically bound tritium (OBT)
- Within the bodies of animals and plants, a part of tritiated water is converted to OBT. In REIA report, an assessment was made assuming that 10% of tritium contained in the ingested marine products is OBT. The Japanese side explained even if the fraction of OBT is 100%, the result of radiological environmental impact does not change significantly.
- (3) Others
- PIF experts asked questions concerning alternative ways of disposal of ALPS treated water. The Japanese side explained that Japanese experts have had comprehensive discussions on this matter for more than six years in the Tritium Water Task Force and the Subcommittee on the Handling of ALPS treated Water (the "ALPS Subcommittee") which include evaluation of five disposal methods (geologic injection, ocean release, vapor release, hydrogen release, and underground burial)
- Japan and PIF Secretariat and its experts concurred on the 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.
[NOTE1] ALPS treated water
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.
[NOTE3] Chronology of Briefing Session to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on the Current Status of Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) Treated Water at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station