Japanese laboratories working for the country’s government, and tested by the IAEA, have produced reliable data on the level of radionuclides in seawater, sediment and fish samples collected near Fukushima, according to a report released last month.
The IAEA collected the samples from the sea near Fukushima multiple times in 2014 and 2015, and has analysed them independently in its own laboratories in Monaco. Some of the samples were also analysed separately by laboratories in Ireland and New Zealand, associated with an IAEA network of laboratories measuring environmental radioactivity. The results were then compared to those obtained by five Japanese laboratories that have regularly monitored radionuclide levels in seawater, sediments and fish since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011.
“There were no statistically significant differences between the results reported by the various laboratories,” said Iolanda Osvath, Head of the IAEA’s Radiometrics Laboratory (see chart). This indicates that the participating Japanese laboratories have the capacity to analyse these samples accurately, the IAEA report concluded.
The next seawater and sediment sampling mission is scheduled to take place from 16-22 May.