Japanese government disappointed with joint NMI House resolution | New
THE GOVERNMENT of Japan, through its consul in Saipan, Kazuhiko Ono, has expressed disappointment with CNMI House resolution 22-11, which “condemns” Japan’s decision to reject water treated of the Fukushima nuclear power plant which was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Ono told local media on Friday that HJR 22-11 is leaving out important scientific information behind Japan’s decision.
It is a misconception that Japan is getting rid of “nuclear waste,” he added.
“Japan is not going to dump” contaminated sewage “into the ocean – in fact, the contaminated sewage will go through an advanced liquid treatment system or ALPS to be converted into ALPS treated water.”
He said the water treated by ALPS is water that has been purified from contaminated water and in which radioactive material is removed to meet regulatory standards.
He added that the concentration of radioactive materials will be well below regulatory normative values by purifying and re-purifying radionuclides other than tritium, and by diluting them with sea water.
Tritium exists in nature, Ono said, and is found in rain, sea and tap water as well as inside our bodies as tritiated water.
“It is very difficult to remove tritium from water because it has the same properties as hydrogen,” Ono added.
Ono said the treated water that is currently stored is around 1.25 million tonnes – a volume equivalent to the size of the Tokyo Dome. “But the amount of tritium contained is only 15 grams, which is equivalent to a tablespoon,” he added.
He noted that countries with nuclear facilities discharge liquid tritium into rivers and seas.
“Japan is one of the countries that releases the lowest amount of tritium. Neighboring countries are releasing much more tritium into rivers and seas, ”he added.
The US government has expressed support for Japan’s decision to discharge treated water, Ono said.
“But the CNMI government, an American territory, condemns it. Why is Maison CNMI raising this now? The Japanese government’s decision to discharge the treated water was announced in April…. Also, the… programmed discharge of treated water [will happen] within a year and a half. Why does the CNMI House target and condemn only Japan, which is one of the countries that emit the least water treated with tritium? “
Ono said that the International Atomic Energy Agency also supports Japan’s plan to gradually release treated water in a safe and transparent manner, in line with international safety standards to protect people and the environment.
Ono quoted IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi as saying that “IAEA experts will be able to verify that the water discharge is carried out safely.”
Ono said this was “of paramount importance in reassuring people in Japan and elsewhere, especially in neighboring countries, that water is not a threat to them.”
HJR 22-11 was introduced by Representative Sheila J. Babauta and co-sponsored by other members of the House.