June 27, 2022

The U.N. nuclear agency, International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Japan to assess Fukushima nuclear plant’s preparations for the release into the ocean of treated radioactive water from the wrecked.

According to reports, the experts on the team from the IAEA are to meet with Japanese officials and visit the Fukushima Daiichi plant to discuss technical details of the planned release.

Earlier in April, the government and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, announced its plans to start gradually releasing the treated radioactive water in the spring of 2023. This will allow the removal of several storage tanks making room for facilities needed for the destroyed plant’s decommissioning.

However, the plan has been opposed to extreme lengths by local residents, fishermen, and its neighboring countries, such as China and South Korea.

Japan in order to ensure that the process meets international safety standards and gains the understanding of the international community has requested assistance from the IAEA. While next month another larger, 11-member IAEA mission is expected to check the same.

Earlier another separate IAEA task force for water testing had collected fish samples from the Fukushima coast. This was part of a routine review along with technical assistance for the plant’s decommissioning. The team included an expert from South Korea.

According to reports, last week, Japan’s economy and industry minister Koichi Hagiuda had pledged that the country will explain the outcome of the IAEA reviews to the international community transparently and in a courteous manner.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant’s cooling systems were destroyed in a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, thus triggering the meltdown of three reactors.

Since then, large amounts of water that are being used to cool the highly radioactive reactor cores have leaked extensively. And that contaminated water is being stored in about 1,000 tanks which are expected to reach their capacity next year.

According to Japanese officials reasoning, the water must be removed from the tanks allowing it to neutralize, and releasing it into the ocean is the most realistic option that pertains.