Assessment Ongoing of Legal and Safety Effects of Fukushima Wastewater Discharge

An informal working group of forum members has been set up to examine international legal issues relating to Japan’s proposed discharge of treated nuclear wastewater from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Islands Forum, in a statement, said that the group will look at relevant international legal treaties and instruments, and assessment of related rules and mechanisms, noting the transboundary and intergenerational issues related to the ocean, environment, health, and human rights as discussions continue over the proposed plan.

The series of meetings and consultations were initiated in response to the concerns expressed by Forum Leaders about nuclear contamination, urging Japan to take necessary actions to prevent harm to the Pacific and comply with international law.

One such meeting, via virtual means, is scheduled for early this month between forum experts and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It will be their second meeting since they last met on April 20.

The PIF Panel of Independent Scientific Experts supports forum members with independent scientific assessments of data and information provided by Japan on its plans to discharge over a million tonnes of nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean over the next four decades. The assessment of these data is to ensure a clearer understanding and guide the leaders’ decisions with a view to ensuring the safety of Pacific Island states.

Photo: IAEA task force members during a site visit to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to conduct a comprehensive review mission regarding the planned discharge of ALPS-treated water. Image credit: TEPCO

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