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Australia concurs with IAEA nuclear disposal report

The Australian Government says it respects the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency on the safeness of the nuclear waste water, despite the disposition of some Pacific Island Countries that attended the Climate Minister’s Meeting in Suva, earlier this week.

Speaking to FijiLive, Australia’s Minister Responsible for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said we accept the scientific findings of IAEA and has concurred with Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

Bowen said that Rabuka during the Climate Minister’s Meeting delivered a strong speech; however, the Australian Government knows that there are different views on the matter and respect them.

“One Minister raised their disposition on the matter, and I recognise that different countries in the Pacific have different views.”

However, when pressed by the media on whether the nuclear waste water was safe to be discharged into the Pacific Ocean, Bowen said “Australia respects the scientific evidence.”

Japan will start releasing treated radioactive water from the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean on today, despite opposition from its neighbours.

The decision comes weeks after the UN’s nuclear watchdog approved the plan.

Some 1.34 million tonnes of water – enough to fill 500 Olympic-size pools – have accumulated since the 2011 tsunami destroyed the plant.

The water will be released over 30 years after being filtered and diluted.

Authorities will request for the plant’s operator to “promptly prepare” for the disposal to start on 24 August if weather and sea conditions are appropriate, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting.

Kishida had visited the plant on Sunday; prompting speculation the release was imminent.

According to reports, the government has said that releasing the water is a necessary step in the lengthy and costly process of decommissioning the plant, which sits on the country’s east coast, about 220 km north-east of the capital Tokyo.

Japan has been collecting and storing the contaminated water in tanks for more than a decade, but space is running out.

Later today, the Pacific Islands Forum is calling for a press conference to discuss the related matter.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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