IAEA team to view decommissioning

Kyodo

The government said Tuesday it will welcome an International Atomic Energy Agency mission next week to seek advice on ongoing efforts toward scrapping the crippled reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 complex.

The 12-member team will be led by Juan Carlos Lentijo of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology. It is the first time that Japan has invited an IAEA mission focusing on decommissioning the plant, an official of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy said.

Issues that may be raised include the recent water leakage from underground cisterns storing radioactive water at the Fukushima plant, the condition of its four stricken reactors, and the soundness of buildings housing reactors and spent-fuel pools, the official said.

The IAEA mission will start working next Monday and is expected to release a preliminary report April 22, the official added.

The utility and the government currently plan to spend up to 40 years in scrapping the four reactor units severely damaged during the nuclear crisis, three of which suffered core meltdowns.