6 June 2024

It could be the case that there is no transboundary effect from the release of the Fukushima water into the ocean, International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi said on Friday (July 7).

“Our opinion is that given the degree, the dilution degree, and the dispersion, it could be the case that there is no transboundary effect at all,” said Grossi, adding that it’s entirely logical that there are concerns. “IAEA’s duty is, first of all, to put in place measures to avoid the harm, number one. And number two, explain. This is what I’m doing there (South Korea, Pacific Islands and other countries), this is why I go there and I meet with the people and I explain.”

Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks during a news conference at the Japan National Press Club Friday, July 7, 2023, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

On Tuesday (July 4), the global nuclear watchdog said a two-year review showed Japan’s plan for the release of treated radioactive water into the ocean would have a negligible environmental impact.

Japan plans to soon start releasing more than a million tons of treated radioactive water, now being stored at the crippled plant north of Tokyo, most of which was used to cool the reactors destroyed by a March 2011 tsunami.

IAEA chief Grossi is due to fly to South Korea on Friday for a three-day visit to explain the agency’s findings. He will meet Foreign Minister Park Jin and Yoo Guk-hee, head of South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission that assessed Japan’s plan.

By Reuters