FORUM HEAD CALLS FOR ANSWERS ON JAPAN'S PLANS TO DUMP NUCLEAR WASTE

The head of the Pacific Islands Forum wants more answers from Japan on its plan to dump wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant in the Pacific.

  • Forum head calls for answers on Japan's plans to dump nuclear waste article image

The head of the Pacific Islands Forum wants more answers from Japan on its plan to dump wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant in the Pacific.

Secretary General Henry Puna called for a frank discussion ahead of a meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, after that organisation said Japan's dumping plan was technically feasible.

The Japanese government has said it plans to release more than a million tonnes of contaminated wastewater from the wrecked plant into the sea.

Puna has demanded clarity over what impact those plans will have on the Pacific Ocean, with Pacific countries united in their outrage at the plan.

Japan plans to dump more than a million tonnes of contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was wrecked in an earthquake in 2011. Photo: Koji Ito / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP)

The legacy of nuclear testing hangs over the region, with the associated health and environmental issues caused by United StatesBritish and French testing largely unresolved today.

"The threat of nuclear contamination continues to be of significant concern to the health and security of our Blue Pacific continent," Puna said.

He said the Pacific was entitled to clear answers, including evidence-based scientific assessments, to underpin Japan's plan.

The prime minister of the Cook Islands, Henry Puna.

The prime minister of the Cook Islands, Henry Puna. Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana

"Our 50-year history as the Forum has been overshadowed by our nuclear legacy issues, which continue to impact affected communities today, and we should not accept anything less," Puna said.

Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga has said dumping the water is unavoidable.

Resource: RNZ 

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