IAEA to report in April on Japan's plan to release Fukushima water

© Kyodo News

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday it will publicize in April the findings of its mission to review the Japanese government's plan to discharge treated low-level radioactive water into the sea from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The five-day safety review in Japan, which the task force assured would be conducted on an objective and scientific basis, is considered crucial for the government to obtain an understanding of the plan among the international community and Japanese public.

Neighboring China and South Korea, as well as the fishery industry in Japan, have expressed worries and opposition against the plan.

The IAEA task force of experts was in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, earlier in the week to review the handling of treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

"This is a significant step forward in the task force's work aimed at assessing their adherence to the IAEA safety standards which contribute to high levels of safety worldwide," said Deputy Director General Lydie Evrard, head of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, during a virtual press conference.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry official told reporters earlier this week that the country hopes for an independent evaluation and inspection in all of the processes by the IAEA.

The Vienna-based international agency will conduct a separate mission towards the end of March to discuss the regulatory aspects of the plan with Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, it said.