IAEA team completes review of Japan's plans to decommission Fukushima nuclear plant

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Toshimitsu Motegi, Japanese Minister of Environment, Trade and Industry, listens to IAEA mission team leader, Juan Carlos Lentijo, describe the results of an IAEA review of Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning plans (IAEA@PHOTO)

An expert team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday completed a review of Japan’s efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. TEPCO is the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

In its Preliminary Summary Report delivered to Japanese authorities, the IAEA team acknowledged a number of accomplishments in preparing Fukushima Daiichi for decommissioning. It noted that TEPCO has successfully begun to remove fuel assemblies from the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor Unit 4, a task that is essential to ensuring the long-term stability of the accident site.

But it notes that while many challenges remain, the Government of Japan and TEPCO have developed a comprehensive set of well-defined measures to manage Fukushima Daiichi's extensive contaminated water issues.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority and other Japanese institutions have established a comprehensive monitoring programme to track radiation levels in the environment around the accident site, including the marine environment; and TEPCO and Ministry of Ecconomy, Trade and Industry have pressed forward with developing innovative tools to address key technical problems.

The IAEA Director of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, Juan Carlos Lentijo, said “Japan has established a good foundation to improve its strategy and to allocate the necessary resources to conduct the safe decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi.” But he cautioned that "The situation, however, remains very complex, and there will continue to be very challenging issues that must be resolved to ensure the plant's long-term stability."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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