China's National Nuclear Safety Administration on Wednesday expressed regret over a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that endorses Japan's planned release of radioactive water into the sea, urging Japan to "take proper and reasonable concerns from all parties seriously".
"This report fails to fully reflect the opinions of experts from all parties involved in the assessment, and the conclusions are not unanimously recognized by all experts," the administration noted in a statement responding to media queries.
There are still many problems with the legitimacy of discharging the contaminated water into the sea, the reliability of Japan's purification system and the completeness of its monitoring plan, it stressed.
Japan should dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, safe and transparent manner, the statement said. The country should also promptly establish a long-term international monitoring mechanism that involves those who have a stake in the matter, including neighboring countries.
The statement noted several problems with Japan's current monitoring arrangements.
A delay in Japan's monitoring work ahead of the discharge has made it impossible to determine whether the nuclear-contaminated wastewater meets discharge standards. This may result in substandard nuclear-contaminated water being directly discharged into the ocean, it said.
It said Japan has taken samples from a mixture of 10 tanks containing nuclear-contaminated water for monitoring. It's possible that some of the highly concentrated contaminated water has been diluted after being mixed up, thus making whether the water meets discharge standards indeterminable.
The statement called for "open and transparent long-term international monitoring" over the discharge.
"The discharge of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is related to the global marine environment and public health," it said. "It should be subject to open and transparent international monitoring and supervision involving relevant stakeholders, instead of arranging monitoring under the leadership of Japan alone."
The administration said it attaches great importance to the planned discharge.
Thanks to monitoring work it organized in 2021 and 2022 on the marine radiation environment in waters under China's jurisdiction, the administration has determined radiation levels in related sea areas, it said.
It said the administration has made arrangements to monitor the effects of the discharge.
"If any abnormalities are detected, warnings will be issued in a timely manner to effectively safeguard China's national interests and people's health," it stressed.