SI yet to make stand on Japan’s plan to dump nuclear treated water into Pacific


The Solomon Islands is still to make an official stand on Japan’s decision to dump more than a million tonnes of nuclear treated water into the Pacific Ocean starting this year.

Government will rather wait for scientific evidence first.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) Mr Collin Beck says Solomon Islands’ position on Japan’s plan to discharge radioactive wastewater from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean will have to be based on scientific findings and proof that it is safe for Japan to do so.

Mr Beck uttered this statement during the MFAET media conference last Wednesday.

Japan is proposing to commence dumping the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS)-treated water this year; however, the Pacific Islands Forum countries have asked Japan to defer its plans awaiting an independent panel of scientists.

Speaking during the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) weekly media conference on Friday Secretary to Prime Minister (SPM) Dr Jimmie Rodgers confirmed that during the recent visit by the Japan Foreign Ministers Yoshimasa Hayashi this matter was also discussed.

“The short answer is yes, that was part of the discussion. I was with the Prime Minister’s meeting, and basically the message here was Japan is still looking to try and inform the Pacific Island countries on two main things one is that, they are awaiting the final report from the International Agency (IEEA) they are waiting for the report there.

“And of course, there is an independent scientific group that was appointed by the PIF that has gone to Fukushima to conduct their assessment and is led by the Prime Minister for Cook Islands.

“So, on those two the assurance from Japan was that, if the reports show that anything inside the water is going to be detrimental or harmful Japan will not be going to release the water into the ocean.

“And then on our side there was a concern by the PIF scientists that they were not being given some documents that they needed for their assessments because the report is only as good as the information they get.

“So, on our side we have requested the Foreign Minister to provide to our scientific group through the PIF the information they request.

“So, the government requests Japan to provide whatever information our scientific team needs so that they can also come up with their deliberation.

“Our position in this, is that we will be guided by the scientific assessment, so whatever scientific assessment says about some reasons to worry about the risk despite how small that would be our position.

“And the commitment by the Japanese’s government is that, if there is any risk they will not discharge.” Rodgers said.

On April 13, 2021, Japan’s government unanimously approved that TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) dump the stored water to the Pacific Ocean over a course of 30 years.

Japan’s government said the dumped water will be treated and diluted to drinkable standard.

“Nearly 12 years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear catastrophe at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant,” Euro News Green reported last month.

“The nuclear reactors have been decommissioned – a process which will take 40 years to complete.

“But the shutdown has stalled over the build-up of vast quantities of water used to keep the damaged reactors cool.

“To free up space, operator TEPCO want to release 1.3 million tonnes of the wastewater into the sea. They claim that the water is filtered to remove most radionuclides, making the release safe.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the proposal is safe, but neighbouring countries have voiced concern, BBC reported in January this year.

The water is filtered for most radioactive isotopes, but the level of tritium is above the national standard, operator Tepco said. Experts say tritium is very difficult to remove from water and is only harmful to humans in large doses.

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