On August 3, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced that it would begin work the following day to install a dilution and discharge facility, and related facilities, for the ALPS-treated water at Fukushima Daiichi. The water had all its radioactive materials removed except tritium.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan (NRA) had approved the installation of the facilities on July 22. The Fukushima Prefectural Decommissioning Safety Monitoring Council then recognized them as “appropriate” four days later, on July 26. Finally, the heads of Fukushima Prefecture, Okuma Town and Futaba Town gave their consents to TEPCO on August 2.
The power company received the prefectural and municipal consents late in the afternoon of August 2 at the Fukushima prefectural offices, where Governor UCHIBORI Masao of Fukushima, Mayor YOSHIDA Jun of Okuma and Mayor IZAWA Shiro of Futaba met with TEPCO President KOBAYAKAWA Tomoaki and others.
At the meeting, the three officials asked TEPCO for adherence to eight conditions laid out by the Fukushima Prefecture Nuclear Power Station Safety Assurance Technical Review Committee, as follows:
- Thorough confirmation of radioactive materials contained in the ALPS-treated water.
- Appropriate operation and management of circulation and agitation of the ALPS-treated water.
- Appropriate management of radioactive materials contained in the diluted water.
- Preparation in advance of an effective, preventive safety plan.
- Preventive measures against the expansion of effects on the environment in emergencies.
- Reinforced focus on safety as the top priority, given that the construction period was shortened by two months from the initial plan in an amended application.
- Dissemination of easily understood information on measurements of treated water.
- Dissemination of easily understood information on the evaluation of radiation effects, etc.
Together with those items, the governor and two mayors presented additional requests regarding the decommissioning and contaminated water management: namely, for a further reduction in the amounts of contaminated water being newly generated, and for safe treatment and disposal of secondary products from the processes of contaminated water treatment.
In the morning of August 3, the three men visited Minister HAGIUDA Koichi of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), reporting on the matter and asking the government to promote sales of products from Fukushima.
TEPCO said that it would respond to each request and expression of views with sincerity, and that it would work steadily on the installation with top priority on safety, aiming to complete the dilution and discharge facility for the ALPS-treated water, and related facilities, in the spring of 2023.
The power company also said that it would report in a timely manner on the state of construction, and respond sincerely to the safety confirmation made by municipalities, IAEA reviews and more, to ensure objectivity and transparency and to obtain confidence domestically and internationally.
At a press conference in the afternoon of August 3, President ONO Akira of the Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Company explained the work plan. Referring to the need for easily understood information, he repeatedly stressed the importance of dialogue, saying, “There is no substitute for squarely facing the concerns and anxieties of each person in the region, and explaining the situation.”