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Minimizing harm: the concrete option for Fukushima tanks waste

Minimizing Harm: the concrete option for solving the accumulation of radioactively contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant site

A paper prepared by the Independent Expert Panel to the Pacific Islands Forum

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, Dr. Ferenc (Jacob Rolf) Dalnoki Veress, Dr. Robert Richmond, Dr. Anthony Hooker, Dr. Ken Buesseler
12 June 2023

Abstract: The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) proposes to treat 1.3 million cubic meters of accumulated, radioactively contaminated water to greatly reduce concentrations of all radionuclides other than tritium and carbon-14 by using the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS). It proposed to dilute the resultant water so that the tritium concentration would be 1,500 Bq/liter, which is one-seventh drinking water guideline of the World Health Organization for that radionuclide. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority and the IAEA have been evaluating the health and environmental impact questions with the presumption that TEPCO’s plan could comply with IAEA guidelines and Japan’s regulations. However, a presumption that TEPCO’s plan would comply in principle with all guidelines does not appear to include the transboundary implications of IAEA’s guidance in its General Safety Guide No. 8 (GSG-8) that requires that benefits outweigh the harms for individuals and societies. The Expert Panel of scientists appointed by the Pacific Islands Forum have recommended an option that would avoid transboundary impacts, in conformity with GSG-8. That option is to treat the water in the ALPS system as now proposed by TEPCO and then to use it to make concrete with little potential for human contact, such as the concrete being used on the Fukushima Daiichi site and/or tsunami barriers for coastal protection. This Expert Panel paper is focused on the concrete option; it should be seen in the context of the broader issues with the TEPCO plan that were covered in an overall assessment made by the Expert Panel in
August 2022.


Also link to the Fukushima Daiichi water tank storage page