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Japan’s plan is safe. Facts and science about ALPS treated water

By Our Correspondent
September 21, 2023

ISLAMABAD: ITO Takeshi Minister/Deputy Chief of Mission, embassy of Japan in Pakistan has confirmed Japan’s unwavering priority on safety. Japan will never discharge water that can harm humans or the environment. The safety is our top priority.

On August 24, 2023, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) started the discharge of ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) treated water. Since the devastating tsunami hit FDNPS after the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011, tons of water has become contaminated with radioactive materials through its use for cooling of the fuel debris and natural contact. Such contaminated water has been purified through the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), which can remove the radionuclides except for tritium.

The water treated by ALPS, which has been sufficiently purified until the concentration of radioactive materials other than tritium is below the regulatory standard, will be further diluted before it is discharged into the sea. The concentration level of tritium in the water after dilution will be 1/40 of the regulatory standard and 1/7 of the WHO drinking water standard.

The concentration of radioactive materials other than tritium will be less than 1/100 of the regulatory standard. On July 4, 2023, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the world’s centre for cooperation in the nuclear field promoting the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology, released its Comprehensive Report, summarizing the outcome of the review missions from an objective and professional standpoint based on scientific evidence.

The report has concluded that: (i) the approach to the discharge of the ALPS treated water is consistent with relevant international safety standards; and (ii) the radiological impact on humans and the environment is negligible.

In fact, discharging water into sea is commonly practiced in nuclear power plants around the world. The amount of tritium in the ALPS treated water is smaller than the amount of tritium discharged from many nuclear power plants and other facilities in other countries.