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IAEA Remediation Mission Issues Final Report

Fukushima

Interview with Tero Varjoranta, Director, Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology Division and Deputy Team Leader, 10 November 2011

A team of international experts completed their assessment of the strategy and plans being considered by the Japanese authorities to remediate the areas off-site TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).

Their final report, delivered to the Japanese authorities, is available here.

"A lot of good work, done at all levels, is on-going in Japan in the area of environmental remediation," said Juan Carlos Lentijo, Team Leader and General Director for Radiation Protection at Spain's nuclear regulatory authority.

In the report, Japan is encouraged to continue its remediation efforts, taking into account the advice provided by the Mission.

"In the early phases of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, a very cautious approach was adopted by the Japanese authorities in terms of dealing with the handling of residue materials. It is considered right to do so," Lentijo said.

"However, at this point in time, we see that there is room to take a more balanced approach, focusing on the real priority areas, classifying residue materials and adopting appropriate remediation measures on the basis of the results of safety assessments for each specific situation."

The IAEA stands ready to support Japan as it continues its efforts to remediate the environment in the area off-site the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The IAEA sent the mission to Japan from 7 to 15 October 2011 following a request from the country's government. The mission, comprising 12 international and IAEA experts from several countries, visited numerous locations in the Fukushima Prefecture and conducted meetings in Tokyo and Fukushima with Japanese officials from several ministries and institutions.

A preliminary summary report was issued on 14 October.

Background

The accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has led to elevated levels of radiation over large areas. The Government of Japan has been formulating a strategy and plans to implement countermeasures to remediate these areas.

The IAEA organized an International Fact Finding Expert Mission of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident Following The Great East Japan Earthquake And Tsunami, which took place between 24 May and 2 June 2011

The environmental remediation mission of 7-15 October was a follow-up to the fact-finding mission held earlier in the year and an essential component of the IAEA's Nuclear Safety Action Plan, approved by the IAEA Board of Governors on 13 September and endorsed by all 151 Member States at the recent IAEA General Conference in September 2011.

The Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the global nuclear safety framework.

See Story Resources for more information.

-- By Giovanni Verlini, IAEA Division of Public Information


(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA).