The discharge of ALPS treated water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of TEPCO and the safety of Japanese foods - A message from KONO Taro, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety -
As Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety, I would like to talk about the discharge of ALPS treated water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power Company and the safety of Japanese agricultural and fishery products.
At TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, water containing radioactive materials is purified and treated. As a result, the water that has been purified to meet regulatory standards for radioactive materials except for tritium is called "ALPS treated water". The ALPS treated water will be significantly diluted with seawater to fully meet regulatory standards for radioactive materials, including tritium.
Tritium is widely present in nature, including in rainwater and seawater, and is also taken into our bodies through tap water and food.
However, tritium is excreted with water and does not accumulate in the body, nor is it concentrated in fish and other marine products through the food chain.
Tritium is also discharged into the sea and atmosphere at nuclear facilities in Japan and abroad, in compliance with the standards of each country.
The amount of tritium planned to be discharged into the sea from TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is less than 22 trillion becquerels per year.
In contrast, outside Japan, for example,
the Heysham 2 Nuclear Power Plant in the U.K. discharges about 323 trillion becquerels, or about 15 times as much;
the Qinshan Phase III Nuclear Power Plant in China discharges about 143 trillion becquerels, or seven times as much;
the Kori Nuclear Power Plant in South Korea discharges 49 trillion becquerels, or about twice as much;
and the Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 Nuclear Power Plants in the U.S. discharge 40 trillion becquerels, or about twice as much.
The tritium level in seawater and marine products will be monitored even after discharge into the sea.
The monitoring results will be provided on the Web site.
Japanese food products are inspected for radioactive materials in accordance with our standards, which are extremely strict even compared to global standards, and there are stringent safety measures in place, such as shipment restrictions.
We hope that consumers at home and abroad will continue to enjoy Japanese food products.
Thank you very much.