April 13, after the Japanese government officially announced its decision to drain sewage from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, the U.S. State Department responded by saying that it supported the Japanese government’s decision and said that it was in line with globally recognized nuclear safety standards.
After the Japanese government officially announced the above decision, the U.S. State Department issued a statement on its official website, saying that “the Japanese government, in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has taken measures to deal with the consequences of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. The Japanese government has announced a decision on the basic policy of treating water from ALPS (multi-nuclide removal equipment) to discharge the treated nuclear sewage into the sea.”
The statement said, “The United States is aware that the Japanese government has studied several solutions related to the management of treatment water stored in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the face of this unique and challenging situation, Japan weighed its options and influences, kept its decisions transparent, and seemed to have adopted an approach that meets globally recognized nuclear safety standards.
The statement concluded that the United States expects the Japanese government to continue to coordinate and communicate to monitor the effectiveness of this method.
At present, China, South Korea and other countries have issued statements on the disposal of nuclear wastewater at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China on April 12, Zhao Lijian, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, answered reporters’ questions about Japan’s proposed decision to discharge nuclear wastewater from the sea, saying that Japan’s proper disposal of the wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant is related to the international public interest and the vital interests of neighboring countries, and should be carefully grasped to ensure that with the joint participation of all parties concerned. Effectively avoid further damage to the marine environment, food safety and human health.
On the same day, a spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the above-mentioned incident, saying that the move may have a direct or indirect impact on South Korea’s national security and the surrounding environment, which South Korea is deeply concerned about.
According to Asahi Shimbun, the Japanese government working group proposed five solutions for sewage treatment in 2016, including placing it in geological layers and releasing it in steam, but later analyzed that dilution of sewage into the sea is the least expensive and fastest way of all feasible solutions.
In February 2020, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent a team of experts to Fukushima. The Japanese government proposed two treatment methods of nuclear sewage – steam release and discharge to the sea. The IAEA expert group issued a statement on its official website in April, saying that both options are technically feasible, and nuclear power plants around the world usually adopt the above methods under safety and environmental protection supervision. However, the IAEA still recommends that the Japanese government conduct a comprehensive technical and security analysis.