IAEA delivers final report on remediation in Fukushima

Vienna, Jan 24 (IANS/WAM) The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Friday handed Japan the final report from an expert mission that reviewed remediation efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.

The IAEA report, which is available online, describes the findings of the Follow-up IAEA International Mission on Remediation of Large Contaminated Areas Off-Site the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, held Oct 14-21, 2013.

The plant was severely damaged by the March 11, 2011, earthquake-triggered tsunami.

The report highlights important progress in all areas to date, and offers advice on several points where the team feels it is still possible to further improve current practices.

“The mission team was impressed by the amount of resources allocated and by the intense work that Japan is carrying out in efforts to remediate the affected areas and promote the return of evacuees to their homes, together with efforts for reconstruction of those areas,” said Juan Carlos Lentijo, director of IAEA’s fuel cycle and waste technology division.

Lentijo led the 16-member mission team, which comprised international experts and IAEA staff working across a range of disciplines including radiation protection, remediation approaches and technologies, waste management and stakeholder involvement.

The team welcomed progress achieved following the first IAEA remediation mission in October 2011, including the remediation of farmland and forest areas.

The team also welcomed significant progress by municipalities and the national government in the development and establishment of temporary storage facilities for contaminated materials generated by on-going remediation activities.

In addition, the mission team noted the progress made towards the national government’s creation of interim storage facilities, with the cooperation of municipalities and local communities.

The mission observed that comprehensive implementation of food safety measures is in place to protect consumers and improve consumer confidence in farm produce, reflected in an increase in the economic value of the crops.