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Focus is on fishermen’s understanding of treated water; Governor does not approve of ocean discharge itself

After handing a written response to TEPCO Holdings President Tomoaki Kobayakawa, reporters interview (from left) Shiro Izawa, Mayor of Futaba Town; Masao Uchibori, Governor of Fukushima Prefecture; and Jun Yoshida, Mayor of Okuma Town at the Fukushima Prefectural Office on August 2, 2022, at 5:18 p.m. Photo by Daisuke Wada

Aug. 2, 2022
Regarding the release into the ocean of treated water that continues to accumulate at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao Uchibori and the mayors of Okuma and Futaba, both located in Fukushima Prefecture, informed TEPCO Holdings President Tomoaki Kobayakawa on August 2 of their intention to give their prior approval for the start of construction necessary for the release. TEPCO had asked the three parties for their approval last December. TEPCO will now begin full-scale construction work, including the installation of an undersea tunnel, to discharge treated water approximately 1 km offshore from the No. 1 nuclear power plant. The offshore discharge is scheduled for the spring of 2023.

 The “prior consent” by the prefecture and the two towns is based on an agreement between TEPCO and the municipalities where the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is located to ensure safety in the decommissioning of the plant. TEPCO is required to obtain the approval of each municipality regarding technical safety when constructing new facilities or decommissioning existing ones. Meanwhile, the government and TEPCO have promised the prefectural federation of fishermen’s associations that “no disposal will take place without the understanding of the concerned parties. One of the focal points will be whether or not they can gain the understanding of the prefectural fishermen’s federation.

When President Kobayakawa visited the prefectural government that day, Governor Uchibori, Okuma Mayor Jun Yoshida, and Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa responded that they had “confirmed the technical safety” of the implementation plan for the No. 1 nuclear power plant, which includes designs and procedures for facilities to discharge treated water into the sea. The three parties then made requests regarding the control of new generation of highly contaminated water and the appropriate management of secondary wastes such as contaminated soil.

Fukushima Prefecture Governor Masao Uchibori (second from left) conveys his response to TEPCO HD President Tomoaki Kobayakawa (far right) on an application for prior approval of necessary construction work. Far left is Shiro Izawa, mayor of Futaba Town, and third from left is Jun Yoshida, mayor of Okuma Town, at Fukushima Prefectural Office on August 2, 2022; photo by Daisuke Wada.

Governor Uchibori commented, “There are various opinions, such as concerns about new rumors, opposition to the offshore discharge, and fears about the impact of land-based storage on reconstruction efforts. It cannot be said that the people of the prefecture and the public have a sufficient understanding of the situation,” he stressed. He called for the government and TEPCO to take responsibility for providing careful and sufficient explanations to deepen the understanding of all concerned parties, and to sincerely listen to their wishes and engage in dialogue with them.

After the meeting, Governor Uchibori explained to reporters, “Based on the safety assurance agreement, we confirmed that the necessary safety measures have been taken for the facilities planned by TEPCO. He emphasized that he did not approve the discharge of treated water into the ocean itself. Meanwhile, President Kobayakawa said, “We will give top priority to safety so that the decommissioning work can proceed with the trust of the local people and the reconstruction of the region can make steady progress.

 There has been strong opposition to the offshore discharge, especially from local fishermen who are concerned about harmful rumors. Against this backdrop, TEPCO has been steadily advancing preparatory work since last December, which does not require prior approval. The construction of a shaft that will serve as the entrance to the submarine tunnel and a discharge port that will serve as the exit are underway, and these works are scheduled to be completed in October this year.

 The Nuclear Regulation Commission of Japan has already approved the implementation plan for the No. 1 nuclear power plant in July, which includes the installation of an undersea tunnel for discharging treated water. The safety of the plan was discussed by the prefectural government and the local municipalities, and a report stating that “the safety of the surrounding area will be ensured” was submitted to the prefectural government and the two towns. Eina Isogai and Naohiro Hinuma
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220802/k00/00m/040/310000c?fbclid=IwAR2QP9tp5CD_bjlcQLqGAaKHvNeD9IP93IqGzS6F0wNzNN2AJc4lRSYkL5s

August 4, 2022 - Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , ,

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