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.
In this assessment, the IAEA acknowledges further progress toward the achievement of a sustainable situation regarding groundwater and contaminated water issues, including the commencement of the freezing of the major part of the land-side impermeable wall (started in March 2016). Other technical measures, such as the completion of the separation of Unit 1 turbine building from the circulation water injection line, also demonstrate progress in water management. These activities, as well as the ground water bypass and drain pumping, indicate effective implementation of the overall water management strategy.
In addition, the IAEA assessment states that no significant changes were observed in the monitoring results for seawater, sediment and marine biota during the period from February 2016 to April 2016. The levels measured by Japan in the marine environment are low and stable. For the purpose of public reassurance, the IAEA encourages continuation of sea area monitoring, particularly considering the ongoing authorized discharges of treated and monitored groundwater into the ocean.
The IAEA continues to assist the Government of Japan in ensuring that the regularly updated Sea Area Monitoring Plan is comprehensive, credible and transparent. A proficiency test and two inter-laboratory comparison exercises are organized annually to test the sampling and analytical performance of the Japanese laboratories for the analysis of radionuclides in seawater, sediment and marine organisms. A fifth inter-laboratory comparison exercise study is currently underway and includes the analysis of the levels of radionuclides in seawater and marine sediment. The results of the first four inter-laboratory comparison exercise studies (organised in 2014–2015) were presented in an IAEA progress report released in April 2016. The report indicated that the participating Japanese laboratories produced reliable data on the level of radionuclides in seawater, sediment and fish samples collected near Fukushima (see here).
The IAEA considers that the extensive data quality assurance programme helps to ensure that stakeholders can be confident of the accuracy and quality of the sea area monitoring data.
Finally, based on the information that has been made available, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division understands that the measures taken to monitor and respond to issues regarding radionuclide contamination of food are appropriate, and that the food supply chain is under effective control of the relevant authorities.