IAEA Delivers Final Report to Japan After Initial Review of Plans to Decommission Fukushima Daiichi

Two IAEA experts examine recovery work on top of 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. (Photo: G. Webb/IAEA)

An IAEA expert team completed its initial review of Japan's efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The team visited Japan from 15 to 22 April 2013, provided a draft report to Japanese officials on the last day of that mission, and delivered to the Government of Japan its final report, which has just been made available on-line (in Japanese).

The visit was the first of what is planned to be a two-mission 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, at the request of the Government of Japan. The 13-member IAEA team met in Tokyo with officials from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Tokyo Electric Power Company, and the team also visited the nuclear accident site to gain first-hand information about conditions at the plant.

"Our final report reflects that the Roadmap was developed early after the accident and that Japanese workers have achieved reasonable stable cooling of the damaged reactor cores and spent fuel pools," said Team Leader Juan Carlos Lentijo, Director of the IAEA's Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, "but the continuing accumulation of contaminated water at the site is influencing the stability of the situation and must be resolved in the near term before other recovery and decommissioning steps can begin."

The final report acknowledges Japanese accomplishment and provides advice on a range of issues, including overall strategy and planning, stakeholder involvement, and the management of reactor fuel.

"I hope that Japan will benefit from our mission, and also that nuclear operators around the world can learn important lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident," Lentijo said. "In this context, I'm pleased by the Government of Japan's clear intention to make this report publicly available, which will contribute to disseminating the lessons learned to the international community."

Japan's request for the mission came 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.

Last update: 2 November 2014