RELEASE: Expert advises deferment on Japan Fukushima discharge dates

COP27, Sharm-el-Sheikh, 16th November 2022–The PIFS Secretary General Henry Puna has met with Dr Ken Buesseler in the margins of COP 27 in Sharma El Sheik Egypt, to discuss the impending discharge of contaminated nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

Dr Buesseler, attending Ocean-Climate nexus events at COP27, is the Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. A marine radiochemist who studies the fate and distribution of radioactive elements in the ocean, his lab has been active in response to radioactivity released from disasters such as the impact of radioactivity released from the Fuksuhima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, and from earlier sources such as Chernobyl or atomic weapons testing at the Marshall Islands.

He is one of five global members of the PIF Panel of Experts assessing whether the intended discharge by Japan in April 2023 is safe for the Pacific Ocean. According to the independent assessment of the PIFS Panel Experts to date, there is insufficient data to classify the impending discharge by Japan as safe for Pacific people and our ocean’s biodiversity.

“Experts have advised a deferment to the impending discharge into the Pacific Ocean by Japan is necessary,” said SG Puna, “and based on that advice, our members encourage consideration for options other than discharge, while the independent panel of experts continue to further assess of the safety of the discharge in light of the current data gaps.” —ENDS