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 the results of the investigation of the fuel debris location in the Unit 2 reactor, by applying the muons transmission method, and that they contribute to further assessment of the conditions inside the Unit 2 reactor and to developing an effective approach for the removal of fuel debris.
Regarding the Frozen Soil Wall, the IAEA notes that the established continuous monitoring of the changes of the earth temperature and groundwater levels is essential for assessing the effect of the overall countermeasures against the groundwater issues.
In addition, the IAEA assessment acknowledges that the lifting of the evacuation orders indicates Japan's efforts with regard to the environmental remediation and recovery activities in the areas affected by the accident. The IAEA encourages Japan to continue these efforts and its monitoring of radiation exposure doses of the residents and the provision of practical measures of radiation protection (e.g. measurement of individual doses, health care and consultations) for people returning to previously evacuated areas.
The IAEA also acknowledges that no significant changes were observed in the monitoring results for seawater, sediment and marine biota during the period from May 2016 to July 2016. The levels measured by Japan in the marine environment are low and relatively 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 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. 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 determination of radionuclides in seawater, sediment and marine organisms. A fifth inter-laboratory comparison exercise study is currently underway and includes the analysis of the radioactivity concentration in seawater and marine sediment. A third proficiency test will start in September 2016 and includes the analysis of radioactivity concentration in seawater.
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 controlled effectively by the relevant authorities.