An IAEA expert mission composed of 16 experts from eight countries and IAEA staff visited Fukushima Prefecture from 21 to 26 July 2013, to start implementation of the Practical Arrangements signed in December 2012 and April 2013 respectively between the Fukushima Prefecture and the IAEA.
The projects being undertaken under the signed arrangements outline the broad framework of cooperation and assistance being offered by the IAEA to the Fukushima Prefecture. The assistance focuses on issues of remediation, decontamination and low level radioactive waste management in the Fukushima Prefecture. Through these projects, the IAEA seeks to assist Fukushima Prefecture in their efforts to the benefit of those living in the Fukushima Prefecture. The IAEA's support as part of this arrangement will continue over three years. The remediation efforts in the Fukushima Prefecture aim to prevent the radioactive contaminants' movement into waterways, the food chain or air, thus reducing or preventing human exposure to radiation now and in the future.
The IAEA team also conferred with Fukushima Prefectural officials on the various steps taken for the safe management of materials that contain traces of low level of radioactive nuclides, assistance for temporary storages sites for possible contaminated materials. Another issue discussed during the meeting was to undertake a survey of radionuclides in the environment, including its absorption in soil, and the examination of status radionuclides in rivers and lakes and mapping surveys of the Fukushima Prefecture for dissemination to the public. The projects undertaken by the Fukushima Prefecture authorities after the 11 March 2011 Nuclear Power Station accident demonstrate their intense attention to these issues.
The Agency's continued assistance to Japan was also part of the May 2013 IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET) Workshop in the Fukushima Prefecture to strengthen the Agency's emergency response network. During this workshop 40 experts from 18 countries participated in taking measurements of radionuclides in the evacuated areas.
The recently concluded IAEA expert mission is part of the activities under the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety adopted in September 2011, which has the key goal of reinforcing global nuclear safety.