IAEA starts 2nd safety check for planned Fukushima water release

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima. This photo was taken from a helicopter of the Yomiuri Shimbun on March 17, 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A visiting team of the International Atomic Energy Agency started Monday a survey to check the safety of the planned release into the ocean of tritium-containing treated water from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.

In talks with senior officials of TEPCO and the Japanese industry ministry, Gustavo Caruso, director of the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, said that the team hopes to come up with a report on the results of the survey early next year.

The team’s members include experts from China and South Korea, which have expressed concerns over the planned water release, as well as IAEA officials. This is the second IAEA survey in Japan for the safety of the water release operations, after the first such survey in February.

As part of the survey, which is slated to last until Friday, the team will visit the TEPCO plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. The nuclear power station sustained heavy damage in the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami.

Caruso said that the team will check the progress in work to construct facilities related to the water release operations. The water has been treated but still contains tritium, a radioactive substance.