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IAEA Experts Review Japan’s Decommissioning Plans, Visit Fukushima Daiichi Site

A team of IAEA experts, led by the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy's Juan Carlos Lentijo (right), peer into the Common Spent Fuel Pool at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 27 November 2013

IAEA decommissioning team leader Juan Carlos Lentijo (right) peers into the Common Spent Fuel Pool at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station during a November 2013 IAEA expert review of Japanese efforts to decommission the damaged nuclear power plant. (Photo: G. Webb/IAEA)

Decommissioning experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today started a mission to review Japan's plans and work to decommission the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The 9-day mission, which comes at the request of the Japanese government, will provide advice on safety and technological aspects of decommissioning, waste management and other related activities, as well as on the planning and implementation of decommissioning and pre-decommissioning work.

The mission will review Japan's Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO’'Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4 and assess progress achieved since two earlier IAEA decommissioning missions to Japan, held in April 2013 and November to December 2013.

Japan's requests for this and earlier missions come in the context of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which defines a work programme to strengthen the global nuclear safety framework. The Plan, which was endorsed by all IAEA Member States in September 2011, encourages the use of peer review missions to take advantage of global experience.

The 15 international and IAEA experts will meet officials from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as well as officials from TEPCO, the operator of the Plant that was struck by a tsunami in 2011. They will also visit the Fukushima Daiichi site to observe decommissioning work and progress first-hand and to meet decommissioning staff who are working at the site.

"Decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is a very challenging and complex task," said team leader Juan Carlos Lentijo, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology.

"Through this and the previous missions, the IAEA brings a depth of experience of its own and from our Member States to support Japan's work to meet this challenge. In addition, our work will enable the international community to learn from the accident and the decommissioning process."

The team will deliver a preliminary summary report to the Japanese Government at the end of the mission, with a final version to follow later. The reports will be made available to the public.

Last update: 11 March 2016