习近平向第八届中俄博览会致贺信
习近平向第八届中俄博览会致贺信
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IAEA report should not be 'greenlight' for Japan's nuclear-contaminated water discharge: FM spokesperson

Source: Xinhua | 2023-07-04
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IAEA report should not be 'greenlight' for Japan's nuclear-contaminated water discharge: FM spokesperson

BEIJING, July 4 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday said the report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should not be a permission for Japan's discharge of nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, urging Japan to work with the IAEA to put in place a long-term international monitoring mechanism.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson made the remarks when asked to comment on the report, which believes that Japan's plan to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea complies with international safety standards, saying that the IAEA will conduct long-term monitoring over Japan's discharge activities.

The spokesperson said it is learned that the report failed to fully reflect views from experts that participated in the review, and the conclusion was not shared by all experts. The Chinese side regrets the hasty release of the report.

Due to its limited mandate, the IAEA failed to review the justification and legitimacy of Japan's ocean discharge plan, assess the long-term effectiveness of Japan's purification facility and corroborate the authenticity and accuracy of Japan's nuclear-contaminated water data. Therefore, the conclusion is largely limited and incomplete, the spokesperson said.

Simply for saving cost, Japan has insisted on discharging the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea in disregard of the concerns and opposition from the international community and taken the Pacific Ocean as the "sewer," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that no matter what the report says, it will not change the fact that Japan will release millions of tonnes of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean in the next three decades.

"Will Japan's purification facility be effective in the long-term? Can the international community be timely informed when the discharged water exceeds the discharge limit? What impact will the long term accumulation and concentration of radionuclides bring to the marine environment, food safety and people's health? These are the questions that the IAEA report failed to answer," the spokesperson said.

Noting that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that states have the obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment, and the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter in 1972 prohibits the dumping of all radioactive wastes into the ocean from man-made structures at sea, the spokesperson said what Japan does contravenes its international moral responsibility and obligations under international law.

"We once again urge the Japanese side to stop its ocean discharge plan, and earnestly dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, safe and transparent manner," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also urged the Japanese side to work with the IAEA to put in place as soon as possible a long-term international monitoring mechanism that would involve stakeholders including Japan's neighboring countries. 

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