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.
The IAEA acknowledges further progress towards the full operation of the Frozen Soil Wall and the results achieved by the operation of the sub-drain and groundwater drain systems. The IAEA notes the importance of the monitoring of changes of earth temperature and groundwater levels for assessing the effect of the overall countermeasures against the groundwater issues.
The progress made in preparing for the removal of fuel from the spent fuel pool of Unit 1 has been noted, including the measures that have been implemented to reduce the potential for the spread of contamination during the fuel removal activities.
The IAEA also notes that no significant changes were observed in the monitoring results for seawater, sediment and marine biota during the period from August 2016 until the end of September 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 analysis of radioactivity concentration in seawater, sediment and marine organisms. The results of the fifth inter-laboratory comparison exercise study are currently being analysed while a sixth inter-laboratory comparison exercise study is being planned. A third proficiency test started in September 2016, which includes the analysis of radioactivity concentration in seawater.
Experts from the IAEA will visit Japan from 14 to 18 November 2016 to collect water and fish samples from coastal waters off Fukushima Prefecture to support the quality assurance of radioactivity data collection and analysis by the responsible authorities in Japan (https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/mediaadvisories/sixth-iaea-mission-to-collect-marine-samples-from-coastal-waters-off-fukushima-prefecture).