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IAEA Experts Start Review of Japan's Plan to Decommission Reactors at 2011 Accident Site

Experts

IAEA experts depart Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on 17 April 2013 as part of a mission to review Japan's plans to decommission the facility.

Invited by Japan to review the nation's efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, an IAEA expert team began work Monday, 15 April 2013.

The International Peer Review of Japan's Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4 is scheduled to complete its mission on 22 April 2013.

The 13-person team of IAEA and external experts on 17 April 2013 visited the nuclear accident site to collect first-hand information about Japan's plans to decommission the facility. Earlier, the team held two days of meetings in Tokyo with officials from the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The team also met with officials of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

"We have had a first opportunity to receive information and to discuss with our counterparts from Japan," said Team Leader Juan Carlos Lentijo, the IAEA's Director of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, during a meeting with METI State Minister, Kazuyoshi Akaba. "They have been very open and transparent, and we're looking forward to the rest of our mission."

The review is expected to be the first of a two-mission programme to provide IAEA support for Japan's decommissioning of the damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi.

Japan's request for the mission comes in the context of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, endorsed by all IAEA Member States in September 2011. The Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the global nuclear safety framework, and it encourages the use of peer review missions to take full advantage of worldwide experience.

-- By Greg Webb, IAEA Division of Public Information


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