Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says his support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Fukushima Nuclear Plant discharging nuclear wastewater meets international safety standards.
In his Ministerial Statement on “The release of treated water from Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant by Japan”, Rabuka said it is crucial to clarify that his support is based on the science and assessments carried out by the independent IAEA, which operates within the United Nations system.
Rabuka said the safety standards mentioned by the IAEA are reviewed annually by the UN General Assembly, based on estimates by the UN Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).
He said the standards also include recommendations from independent, non-government group the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).
“The recent IAEA report concluded that the approach, methods, and plan put in place by Japan complies with international safety standards. Prior to the release, the waste water has undergone a complex multi-stage treatment process, effectively removing most of the radioactive isotopes, including cesium and strontium.”
The Prime Minister said this is understood to have significantly mitigated the potential for the waste water to harm life and ecosystems – the release systema and schedule is designed to ensure the waste water is introduced gradually, allowing for dilution.
Rabuka said this reduces the concentration of radioactive materials to levels well below those deemed to be of concern.
He said test results by the Tokyo Electric Power Company show that the treated water contains up to 63 Becquerels of tritium per litre, which falls well below the World Health Organisation’s limit of 10,000 Becquerels per litre for drinking water.
“A Becquerel is a unit of radio activity. I want to emphasize that nothing is more important to me than the safety, security, and prosperity of Fiji and our Pacific Island neighbours.”
“I am committed to continuously studying expert’s analysis of the treated wastewater discharge and making submissions to Japan if any problem arises.”
The Japanese Government plans to carry out this disposal into the ocean gradually over a period of 30–40 years, with each stage closely scrutinized.