IAEA team to arrive Tuesday for Fukushima probe

Kyodo

The International Atomic Energy Agency will arrive to investigate the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on Tuesday and stay until June 2, the government’s top spokesman said.

An international team of nearly 20 experts will make “a tentative assessment” of the crisis and deliver its findings at the IAEA’s ministerial meeting on nuclear safety to be held in Vienna from June 20 to 24, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tuesday.

“With regard to the accident, our country has committed to ensuring the utmost transparency for the international community,” Edano said. “The acceptance of the team is part of this and it will be fruitful for sharing our country’s experience with other countries.”

In addition to meeting with the government and Tepco officials, Edano said the IAEA team is likely to visit the plant.

He said the government will also set up a team within its nuclear accident task force to deal with the IAEA probe.

He said the team, headed by Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, will draw up a report based on the agency’s probe and release it by early June, before the IAEA’s meeting in Viena.

The IAEA team will be headed by Britain’s chief nuclear inspector, Mike Weightman, Edano said.