Secretary General of Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Henry Puna has reiterated the desire by Pacific Forum Foreign ministers to ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) keeps to its word that they are on the ground to monitor – on an ongoing basis – the discharge of ALPS treated water by Japan.
Puna made the statement today in Suva to regional journalists as Japan announced that it is going ahead with its second discharge of Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
The release of the ALPS has been met with opposition in the Pacific with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare one of the leaders’ who publicly opposed its release.
In his speech at the recent UNGA, Sogavare said Solomon Islands is “appalled” by Japan’s decision.
He added, “IAEA’s assessment report is inconclusive and that the scientific data shared remains inadequate, incomplete and biased.”
Sogavare said, “If this nuclear waste water is safe, it should be stored in Japan. The fact that it is dumped into the ocean shows that it is not safe.”
But Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN Shino Mitsuko rejected the claims.
She said the Japanese government has always provided detailed science-based explanations on the matter to the international community.
In Suva today, Puna said it’s an issue PIF foreign ministers have dealt with extensively when they met some two weeks ago.
“Now it has happened, the report as to the level of toxic tenement into water is below expected standards and that is good. In that respect, Forum foreign ministers reiterate their desire to ensure that IAEA keeps up to their word being on the ground to monitor on an ongoing basis, the quality of the discharged water. We will hold them to the commitment and the same time Japan has agreed to have discussions with our Forum leaders continuously on the issue,” he said.
Puna added that a request has gone through via Forum foreign ministers that it would be a standing issue for the PALM and PIF countries going forward.
Japan announced several days ago it would be releasing more treated ALPS treated water. The first release was in August.