Statement by Ambassador HIKIHARA Takeshi at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 9 March 2020 : Item 3: Nuclear and radiation safety : Nuclear Safety Review 2020


Thank you, Madame Chair,

In light of the increase of countries embarking on new nuclear power programmes, and the growing importance of international cooperation in nuclear safety, Japan would like to actively contribute to the international cooperation to improve nuclear safety by making best use of our experiences in managing nuclear power plants. That includes their aging and decommissioning processes as well as the lessons learned from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

Japan highly appreciates the activities of the Secretariat highlighted in the report, GOV/2020/2 ‘Nuclear Safety Review 2020’, and in this regard, let me congratulate DG Grossi and his team for the quality of their work in
this field. We underline the importance of continued efforts by Member States to enhance their nuclear safety based on the achievements referred to in this report, and through further cooperation with the IAEA.

Madame Chair,

While expressing our support of the Agency’s report, I would like to touch upon the matters on which Japan places importance as well as Japan’s recent activities in the area of nuclear safety.

<International Legal Frameworks for Nuclear Safety>

In ensuring nuclear safety, it is necessary to strengthen international legal frameworks and to continue efforts for their effective implementation.
Japan encourages those Member States, especially embarking countries, which have not yet done so, to join the conventions related to nuclear safety.

<Peer Review Services>

Madame Chair,

We believe that the Agency’s peer review services are helpful for Member States to improve their nuclear safety and security.
For that reason, Japan received the IRRS follow-up mission in January this year. Japan highly appreciates the Agency’s and concerned Member States’ effort for this mission, and will continue to further improve its nuclear regulatory framework based on the recommendations of the final report.
Japan hopes that other Member States will actively receive the Agency’s peer review services to enhance nuclear safety worldwide.

<Emergency Preparedness and Response>

Madame Chair,

Emergency preparedness and response is one of the most important areas requiring further international cooperation.
In this regard, I would like to refer to the IAEA RANET Capacity Building Center in Fukushima. For the past few years, the Center has held workshops and training courses. The Center provides a great contribution in capacity building on emergency preparedness and response, and serves to build networks among the participants from Member States.
Japan hopes that these activities strengthen Member States’ capabilities in emergency preparedness and response, and also deepen
communication between Member States and the Agency, as well as among all Member States.

<Current Status of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi NPP>

Madame Chair,

Let me take this opportunity to provide an update on the current status regarding TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The visit by Director General Rafael Grossi to TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, during his official trip to Japan last month, was an important opportunity for the international community to further deepen its understanding of the current status of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Regarding the handling of ALPS treated water, Japan will continue to cooperate closely with the IAEA to address this issue, taking duly into account the views expressed by Director General during his visit.

With the aim of providing information related to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan has been providing the Secretariat with updated comprehensive information, as well as the results of environmental monitoring, the progress of decontamination, and the monitoring of food products. All this information, together with the Secretariat’s comments, is available on the IAEA website.

I would like to mention that the decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Plant and the reconstruction work in Fukushima prefecture are moving ahead through the marine monitoring project, the Cooperation Project between the IAEA and the Fukushima Prefecture on radiation monitoring and decontamination, and related other projects. Japan highly appreciates the support of the Agency in this regard, and would like to ask for its further cooperation with these projects.

Japan continues to actively disseminate information on the progress of the aftermath of the Fukushima Accident based on scientific evidence in a transparent manner. I hope this information will prove helpful to the international community in the understanding of the decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Plant and the progress of the reconstruction work in the Fukushima prefecture.
We hope that these efforts and experiences will help to further contribute to securing transparency and improving communication in
nuclear safety as a whole.

With these comments, Japan takes note of the report contained in GOV/2020/2.

Thank you, Madame Chair.