RELEASE: Pacific Islands Forum receives IAEA Fukushima report

PIF Sec, Suva, 14th July 2023 – The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Honourable Mark Brown, received a visit this week from the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr Rafael Grossi, who led a mission to the Cook Islands from 10 – 11 July 2023.

The visit focused on presenting to the Forum Chair key aspects of the IAEA’s final Report on the Safety Review of the ALPS-Treated Water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The presentation took place on 10 July (Cook Islands time) and was attended virtually by the Tongan Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, PIF Secretary General Henry Puna, and other senior level representation across the Forum membership. The IAEA Cook Islands visit was part of a multi-stop journey to Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

Released online on 4 July, the IAEA Report concludes that Japan’s plans to release the 1.3 million tonnes of treated radioactive nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean over the next four decades meets international safety standards.

In his welcome remarks, PM Brown noted the critical work of the IAEA and its history of cooperation with Forum members, nine of whom are IAEA members.

“The Forum’s prior engagement with the IAEA have been related to the Pacific’s nuclear testing legacy, a legacy which continues to affect our people and our ocean, eight decades on. More than ever, our region’s co-operation with the IAEA and the international community, including through membership of the IAEA, is needed,” PM Brown said in his opening remarks.

Highlighting the Pacific Nuclear Free Zone established under the Treaty of Rarotonga, PM Brown expressed the region’s continued determination to ensure that the bounty and beauty of the ocean space, the land territory, and the airspace above them shall remain the heritage of our peoples and our descendants in perpetuity to be enjoyed by all.

The Forum Chair highlighted the importance of continued dialogue and genuine engagement on this issue moving forward. The Forum Chair will work with Forum Leaders on next steps. —ENDS



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