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Events and Highlights on the Progress Related to Recovery Operations at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 16 November 2017

The Japanese Government has provided the IAEA with a report that summarizes the events and highlights the progress related to recovery operations at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The IAEA provided its assessments, which are contained in full at the end of the report.

Revision of the Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap

Japan reported that it had revised the Mid- and-Long-Term Roadmap by incorporating the policy of fuel debris retrieval on 26 September 2017. This was the result of a suggestion by the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF) that the Japanese government should decide on a policy of fuel debris retrieval.

Reduction of groundwater inflow into the buildings and the release of pumped-up groundwater to the sea

The IAEA acknowledges the multiple initiatives taken by Japan, including groundwater bypass, sub-drains, land-side impermeable walls and water proof pavement which have contributed to the steady reduction in the volume of groundwater inflow into the buildings. The IAEA also notes that freezing of the remaining unclosed section of the land-side impermeable walls has begun.

Off-site decontamination

The IAEA acknowledges the efforts undertaken by the Government of Japan as well as the concerned prefectures and municipalities to implement off-site decontamination. The IAEA notes Japan’s plans to continue monitoring the air dose rate in the environment and to continue implementing remediation measures, as appropriate.

Sea area monitoring results

Based on the information provided by Japan, no significant changes were observed in the monitoring results for seawater, sediment and marine biota during the period covered by this report. The levels measured by Japan in the marine environment are low and relatively stable. For the purpose of public reassurance, the IAEA encourages the continuation of sea area monitoring, particularly considering the ongoing authorized discharges of treated and monitored groundwater into the ocean.

Sea area monitoring data quality assurance

The IAEA continues to assist the Government of Japan in ensuring that the regularly updated Sea Area Monitoring programme is comprehensive, credible and transparent. The organisation of IAEA proficiency tests and inter-laboratory comparison exercises, which have been organized biannually for seawater and annually for sediment and fisheries samples since 2014 to test the sampling and analytical performance of the Japanese laboratories for the analysis of radionuclides in seawater, sediment and fisheries samples, will continue. The seventh inter-laboratory comparison exercise and the fourth proficiency test are currently underway. Experts from the IAEA visited Japan from 16 to 26 October 2017 to collect seawater, marine sediment and fish samples from coastal waters in the Fukushima Prefecture, as part of this seventh inter-laboratory comparison exercise.

The IAEA considers that the extensive data quality assurance programme helps to build confidence of the stakeholders in the accuracy and quality of the sea area monitoring data.

Food products

Based on the information provided by the authorities of Japan, the situation with regard to the safety of food, fishery and agricultural production continues to remain stable. No significant changes were observed since the previous report. Monitoring foods, appropriate regulatory action and public communication are helping to maintain confidence in the safety of the food supply. Food restrictions continue to be revised and updated as necessary in line with the food monitoring results. This indicates the continued vigilance of the authorities in Japan and their commitment to protecting consumers and trade.

Based on the information that has been made available, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division understands that measures to monitor and respond to issues regarding radionuclide contamination of food are appropriate, and that the food supply chain is controlled effectively by the relevant authorities.

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Last update: 06 Jun 2018

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