Statement by Ambassador HIKIHARA Takeshi at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 5 June 2023 Item 2: The Annual Report for 2022

Thank you, Chair,
Japan thanks the Secretariat for drafting the Annual Report for 2022, as well as the technical briefing on this report. The report provides a useful summary of the wide-ranging activities of the Agency in a readers-friendly manner with various graphics.
(Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards in Ukraine)

The Director General begins his foreword to this Annual Report by highlighting the Agency’s engagement when the facilities of Europe’s second-largest nuclear power programme faced an unprecedented threat, as well as the Agency’s monitoring of the nuclear safety and security situation and its safeguards implementation. The year 2022 was indeed a year when the Agency’s activities were acutely needed. Japan expresses its appreciation to Director General Grossi and his team for their dedicated efforts related to Ukraine. In this regard, let me share with the Board that Japan supports the five principles to help ensure the nuclear safety and security at the ZNPP, which DG Grossi presented in his briefing at the UN Security Council on 30th of May.

(Nuclear Technology and Technical Cooperation)
On nuclear technology and technical cooperation, Japan reiterates its firm support for the various initiatives of the Agency, such as NUTEC Plastics, ZODIAC and Rays of Hope. These initiatives show the increased relevance of the Agency’s activities in providing solutions to common challenges in development. Japan has been making various contributions to each of these initiatives.
This Annual Report illustrates, with concrete examples, the role the Agency has been playing in the fields of both nuclear power generation and non-power application. Japan hopes that the Agency will continue to play a central role in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We welcome the Agency’s active participation in COP 27 held in Sharm el-Sheikh in November 2022. Its participation greatly contributed to attracting wider attention to the role of nuclear energy in mitigating climate change. Japan was a proud contributor to the exhibition of the Agency’s pavilion at COP 27.
(Nuclear Safety and Security)
Nuclear safety is essential in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Japan continues to attach significance to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, as well as the Joint Convention. Japan endeavors to continuously improve the regulatory framework through steadfast implementation of these conventions. Japan also assigns great importance to IAEA Safety Standards, and we will continue to cooperate with the Secretariat and experts from other Member States in establishing and updating the Safety Standards.
Japan continues to support the central role of the Agency in nuclear security. Japan stresses once again the importance of the full implementation and the universalization of the A/CPPNM (Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material) and welcomes the successful holding of the 2022 Conference of the Parties to the Convention. Japan considers it is essential to deepen understanding and collaboration among Member States in nuclear security. We look forward to coordinating with the Secretariat and other Member States towards the 4th meeting of ICONS (International Conference on Nuclear Security) in 2024.
(Nuclear Verification)
In the area of nuclear verification, Japan attaches importance to the efforts to facilitate the conclusion of CSAs (Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements) and APs (Additional Protocols) as well as the amendment or rescission of SQPs (Small Quantity Protocols). In this regard, Japan welcomes that three CSAs with revised SQPs entered into force in 2022, for two of them also with APs.
Last but not the least, Japan welcomes the continued efforts by the Secretariat to achieve gender parity and gender mainstreaming, including through the Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship and the Lise Meitner Programme. Japan appreciates the increase in the representation of women in the Secretariat from 37.4% in 2021 to 41.3% in 2022 in the professional and higher categories. We encourage the Secretariat to continue its efforts in this area.
(ALPS Treated Water)
I don’t want to respond to all misleading or simply erroneous points raised by my Chinese colleague today, as all of these points are already covered and answered in the two sets of our written answers to the Chinese and Russian questionnaires, which have been already distributed to all Member States.
I would prefer to take this opportunity to provide information on recent developments related to the ALPS treated water of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS).
But, if I just pick up one issue in our Chinese colleagues statement, the Chinese colleague referred to the large amount of water and the nuclides contained within. Let me draw your attention that some of the nuclear plants located in China release year-by-year, a much larger amount of tritium than the planned amount of tritium that will be released from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The IAEA is continuing to independently monitor and review the process related to the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea based on the IAEA Safety Standards. Japan appreciates the sustained efforts and professionalism of the IAEA Secretariat and international experts in this regard.
After the last Board meeting in March, three reports were released by the IAEA, one on safety related aspects, one related to regulatory aspects, and one on independent sampling and analysis work. These reports are all available on the IAEA website. In addition, the IAEA Task Force, composed of IAEA staff and international experts, visited Japan on a comprehensive mission last week.
We expect that, based upon the results of this mission, the IAEA will release a comprehensive report in due course. The Government of Japan will carefully consider the findings and observations from this report and, as necessary, address them appropriately before the discharge would be implemented. The discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea will not start until after these steps are duly taken. Let me also remind you that the IAEA’s independent review will continue before, during and after the discharge of the treated water.
While Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved the application by TEPCO for the amendment of the implementation plan for operational measures of ALPS treated water discharge on May 10, this does not mean that TEPCO could start the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea. The NRA continues to conduct pre-service inspections to duly check and confirm the installation status of the discharge facilities.
Japan has been sharing information on the handling of ALPS treated water with the international community in a transparent manner. We have also been holding explanatory sessions and dialogues at various multilateral, regional and bilateral occasions.
Recently, on May 17, Japan organized a side event in the VIC (Vienna International Centre) entitled “Reconstruction and Decommissioning in Fukushima” during the International Conference on Nuclear Decommissioning.
And a series of intensive dialogue between Japan and the members of the Pacific Island Forum has been conducted. With the Republic of Korea, following the outcome of the Japan-ROK Summit Meeting, a delegation of Korean experts visited TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in May to observe facilities related to ALPS treated water and received detailed explanations from the Japanese side.
Japan will continue to attach importance to the IAEA’s rigorous review since the IAEA is the unique authority in the technical aspects of nuclear safety and with the highest and most competent set of expertise. We will also continue to engage with the international community in a highly transparent manner based on scientific evidence.
With these comments, Japan is ready to join consensus in the submission of the draft Annual Report for 2022 to the General Conference.
Thank you, Chair.