IAEA team to probe Fukushima plant’s water woes

Kyodo

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said its mission will visit the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant for fact-finding on problems including leakages of radioactive water.

“We’re planning to send our peer review mission in autumn, perhaps toward the end (of November),” Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA, told reporters in Washington on Friday.

That will be a mission on decommissioning Fukushima No. 1 and “it covers the contaminated water issues” as well, Amano said.

The IAEA sent a similar team of experts to the No. 1 plant in April to conduct an on-site survey of preparatory work for dismantling the complex, which was devastated by the 3/11 quake-tsunami disasters. That mission at the time warned plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to properly manage the massive buildup of water contaminated with radioactive substances after being used to cool nuclear fuel.

A series of on-site leaks of contaminated water were reported even after the IAEA team’s visit. Some of the water flowed into the Pacific, fueling concerns about tainted seawater and marine produce.