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Marine Monitoring: Confidence Building and Data Quality Assurance

With a view to assisting the Government of Japan in its objectives of making the Sea Area Monitoring Plan comprehensive, credible and transparent, the IAEA, through its Marine Environment Laboratories, is helping to ensure the high quality of data and to prove the comparability of the results.

A 3-year project “Marine Monitoring: Confidence Building and Data Quality Assurance” (2014 – 2016) was initiated as a follow-up activity to the advisory points on marine monitoring included in a report by the IAEA International Peer Review Mission on Mid- and Long-Term Roadmap Towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4, which in late 2013 reviewed Japan's efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of the plant. Six interlaboratory comparisons (ILCs) and three proficiency tests (PTs) were organized during this project. PTs and ILCs are standard methods for participating laboratories to assess the quality of their measurement results in comparison with those of other participating laboratories, and to identify any potentially needed improvements.

A second phase of the project was completed in June 2017. During this phase, four ILCs and four PTs were organized.

These ILCs and PTs have tested the sampling and analytical performance of Japanese laboratories monitoring radionuclides in seawater, sediment and fish as part of the Sea Area Monitoring Plan. Based on the results, it can be concluded that Japanese laboratories monitoring seawater, marine sediment and fish from near the Fukushima Daiichi NPS are producing reliable data.

Furthermore, the IAEA Marine Radioactivity Information System (MARIS) has undergone significant development and improvement through funding provided by this project, both in terms of functionality and of content.

The project was extended for a further two years until June 2023 in order to conduct additional ILCs and PTs and build on the already completed work.

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