A team of international experts today completed a preliminary assessment of the strategy and plans being considered by the Japanese authorities to remediate the areas off-site the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant reported to have elevated levels of radiation.
The IAEA dispatched the mission to Japan on 7 October following a request from the country's Government. The mission, comprising 12 international and IAEA experts from several countries, visited numerous locations in the Fukushima Prefecture and conducted meetings in Tokyo and Fukushima with Japanese officials from several Ministries and institutions.
"The meetings held and visits made by the team over the last eight days gave us a first-hand appreciation of the extraordinary efforts and dedication on the part of Japanese people in their effort to remediate the areas affected by elevated levels of radiation in the Fukushima Prefecture," says Mr. Juan Carlos Lentijo, Team Leader and General Director for Radiation Protection at Spain's nuclear regulatory authority. "As Japan continues its current remediation efforts, it is our belief that this work will bring relief to the populations who are affected by the consequences of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant."
In a Preliminary Summary Report delivered to Japanese authorities today, the team prepared a set of conclusions including, though not limited to, the following:
The authorities and local residents in Japan fully assisted the IAEA international team in its endeavor to conclude its mission successfully.
"The team also appreciates the openness with which our discussions were conducted and the high level of cooperation and access we were granted by Japan," says Mr. Lentijo. "This was an invaluable opportunity for us to learn from this important decontamination initiative. We would like to continue our support to Japan in this very challenging task. We look forward to sharing our findings with the international community."
The final report of the mission will be presented to the Government of Japan in the next month.
The accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant has led to elevated levels of radiation over large areas. The Government of Japan has been formulating a strategy and plans to implement countermeasures to remediate these areas.
The IAEA organized an International Fact Finding Expert Mission of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident Following tThe Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which took place between 24 May and 2 June 2011.
The mission concluded today is a follow-up to the fact-finding mission held earlier in the year and an essential component of the IAEA's Nuclear Safety Action Plan, approved by the IAEA Board of Governors on 13 September and endorsed by all 151 Member States at the recent IAEA General Conference in September 2011. The Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the global nuclear safety framework.
The international expert mission to Japan on environmental remediation was held between 7 and 15 October 2011.