IAEA says situation in Japan "very serious"

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

The situation at the nuclear power plant in Japan continues to remain very serious according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA. The nuclear plant was damaged ten days ago, after a huge earthquake and tsunami hit north east Japan.   Radmilla Suleymanova reports:

Suleymanova:  The Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan remains on a state of alert following the damage caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami. Radioactive material has been leaked at the plant. IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano visited Japan and met with Japanese nuclear authorities.  He says the situation on the ground remains grim.

Amano:  “I reiterate, the situation at the Fukushima remains serious, but we are starting to see some positive developments. The emergency teams at the site have never lost hope and have not given up. Neither has the IAEA. The Agency will continue to do everything in its power to help Japan to overcome the Fukushima crisis.”

Suleymanova: Mr. Amano said that the number one priority is to stabilize the nuclear reactors and restore safety.  He also said that the current emergency nuclear response system needs to be updated. 

Amano: “The current international emergency response framework needs to be reassessed. It was designed largely in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, before the information revolution. It reflects the realities of the 1980s, not of the 21st century.”

Suleymanova: Some countries have already begun reviewing their plans in light of the accident at Fukushima.  Meanwhile, the death toll in Japan continues to rise with almost 9,000 confirmed deaths and 14,000 missing. Bad weather has returned to the worst affected areas hindering humanitarian deliveries to the half a million people living in evacuation shelters where food, water, and medicine are scare.

2.4 million people through out Japan remain without water. Radioactive contamination has been detected in some milk, water, and vegetables, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says radiation levels are well below levels to pose any public health risks.

The psychological toll on those who survived the disaster is becoming more apparent, officials say. Many evacuees, including children, are suffering from post traumatic stress disorders.

The World Bank says that the rebuilding will cost $232 billion dollars and it will take at least five years to reconstruct the affected regions.  Radmilla Suleymanova, United Nations.

Duration: 2’19″

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