The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency this week released its third report on the progress and protocols of Japan’s plans to release treated water that has been contaminated at the disaster site of the Fukushima Diaichi Nuclear power plant.
The IAEA Task Force is charged with reviewing Japan’s plans to discharge Advanced Liquid Processing System treated water stored at the power station into the sea.
The new report focuses on the review methodology. The key ingredient in the review protocol will involve a collaborative process that relies on interlaboratory comparisons of data generated by review teams from France, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and the United States, as well as a team from the IAEA. All of the review teams are members of the network of Analytical Laboratories for the Measure of Environmental Radioactivity (ALMERA).
Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, is required to determine the characteristics and activity of the ALPS treated waeter to be discharged into the sea. This characterization is used as a basis to establish and implement effective monitoring programs to ensure that any public exposure due to the discharges is adequately considered, the IAEA said.
“This independent work will build confidence in the accuracy of data provided by TEPCO and the Japanese authorities and will give another layer of assurance that they are adhering to relevant IAEA Safety Standards,” said Gustavo Caruso, Director, IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security and Chair of the Task Force.
The report includes details on the first collections of treated water samples from the tanks, as well as environmental samples, in 2022. The initial results of the IAEA’s corroboration activities will be made available in 2023 before the planned discharges of the ALPS treated water begin. Subsequent results will be included in future reports that will provide the details of the technical evaluation as well as information for the public on how to read and interpret the data.
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Tritium does not belong in the Oceans.