IAEA team begins weeklong mission to help with nuclear waste control

Kyodo

A 16-member team from the International Atomic Energy Agency began a weeklong mission on Monday to assist in efforts to manage toxic waste caused by the radiation-leaking Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The team, headed by Juan Carlos Lentijo, will remain until next Monday and present a set of proposals to the Japanese government at the end of its mission on issues that need to be addressed and how to make further progress in the decontamination work after inspecting decontamination sites.

It is the second time for an IAEA team to visit Japan since October 2011, several months after the Fukushima plant was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo a day after the team arrived in Japan, Lentijo — an expert on nuclear fuel cycles and waste technology — expressed hope it can provide advice on how to control nuclear-contaminated waste.

The team’s trip to Japan, made at the request of the Japanese government, comes at a time the central and local governments are trying to make headway in plans to construct temporary storage facilities for such waste in Fukushima Prefecture, where the Fukushima No. 1 plant is located.