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The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Jelta Wong has confirmed that the National Fisheries Authority has reviewed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Review of Safety related aspects of handling ALPS treated water at TEPCO’s Fukishima Daiichi Nuclear power station in Japan.

Minister Wong said following the release of the IAEA report and the independent analysis that it presents, the Prime Minister James Marape has extended Papua New Guinea’s consent for the controlled release of the treated water from the power station that was destroyed by the tsunami that followed the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.

“The Prime Minister and I have raised concerns with Japan’s Prime Minister and other agencies, that the release of the water could harm regional fisheries so we sought independent analysis of scientific analysis” Wong said.

“Any discussion on nuclear material will spark heated debate, so it is important that we approach the issue with caution and have full view of the facts”

“The Government of Japan has taken our concerns seriously and promised Pacific Island nations that we will have full technical information for our consideration”

“Papua New Guinea has taken a very caution approach and initially opposed the release of the water without independent analysis of scientific data by third party laboratories”

“The IAEA review has provided the technical data that the Prime Minister and I have been waiting to receive”

“From the information contained in the IAEA report, we have confidence that this treated water meets globally accepted standards and will not harm regional fisheries”

“As stated by the Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea is satisfied with the technical information that has been released by the IAEA and the government of Japan”

“We agree that the controlled release can proceed so long as there is ongoing testing and independent analysis, and if there is any increase in risk, that further water release will be stopped immediately”

“This ongoing monitoring will include additional analysis reports on baseline environmental samples taken from water in the area around where the treated water is released”

In the development of the report, the IAEA oversaw the collection of the treated water samples taken from the Advanced Liquid Processing System treated water expected to be released.

Comparisons of the data from the samples taken of the treated water were undertaken by third-party laboratories that are members of the Analytical Laboratories for the Measurement of Environmental Radioactivity (ALMERA):

  • Spiez Laboratory (LS-Labour Spiez), Switzerland
  • Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (IRSN), France
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) United States of America
  • Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) Republic of Korea

Minister Wong confirmed that Papua New Guinea will continue to consult with partners, including other Pacific Island Nations and Japan, as well as the IAEA, on what is a serious matter for the region.

“We are all custodians of the resources of our oceans and seas, that are not only the source of livelihoods, but our homes today and for our generation to come” Wong said.

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